Sunday School Material 7-17-11: Use God's Strenghth
(Judges 3:15-25, 29-30; 7/17/11)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is God delivers His people when they repent. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to repent and follow God’s will for our lives.
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Read Judges 3:15-19
I. God’s Provision. The children of Israel cried unto the Lord in this section of the Sunday School material. The Lord sent them a deliver/judge – Ehud. Ehud snuck a dagger into the oppressive king’s presence.
The king thought that he was going to get a special message from Ehud, so he had all of his security excused.
- Repentance and deliverance. Notice in vs. 15 of the Sunday School material that repentance triggered God’s delivering His people through a human agent.
There are those who try some of everything (e.g., alcohol, drugs, sex, spending, gambling, etc.) to relieve the trouble in their lives except repentance. And then some want deliverance but reject God’s use of human agents.
Let’s work on repenting and receiving God’s deliverance by whatever method He sends it. God often uses sinful human beings to carry out His blessed plans for His people.
- Using what you have. Notice in vss. 16-19 of the Sunday School material that Ehud used what he had to glorify God. In Ehud’s case, it was trickery.
We are on a rather slippery slope, when we talk about using trickery to glorify God. It begs the question, “What is off limits, in glorifying God”? But we are on solid ground to lift the principle of “Using what you have to glorify God.”
By this, I mean that if you have clerical abilities, mechanic abilities, computer programming abilities, or even the ability to work with seniors, young people, or the abused then you ought to use your abilities to bring honor and glory to God.
Let’s use what God has given us for His glory. Thank God we don’t all have the same abilities. However, if we work together, we can benefit from the abilities of others, and they can benefit from our abilities, as well.
Read Judges 3:20-25
II. Ehud’s Actions. We see in this section of the Sunday School material that Ehud killed the king. Ehud snuck out of the king’s chambers.
The king’s servants finally came in and found the king dead. The servants were conflicted about interrupting the king and checking on his safety.
- Faith and works. Notice in vss. 20-22 of the Sunday School material that Ehud operated out of a “divine command of violence” mindset. Most Americans find this difficult to accept, especially with so much attention on faith based terrorism.
However, a concept that is easier for us to accept is that of a faith that inspires work. In other words, to have faith in God often calls for us to do the work of obeying His will.
Faith without works is dead. An example of this may be, if one is trusting God for a job, this faith ought to be accompanied by submitting resumes, filling out applications, and going to interviews.
Let’s work on having the works that faith inspires. Seeking a companion, by way of dating; seeking wealth for retirement, by way of investing; and even seeking health, by way of diet and exercise are other examples.
- God’s deliverance. Notice in vss. 21-22 of the Sunday School material that God delivered His people by Ehud’s murdering of the king. This seems rather strange to most of us.
On one hand, God works in mysterious ways. Somehow and some way, God is going to work things out for the good of His people. No person or circumstance is too hard for God.
On the other hand, we should not think that “the ends justify the means.” We will have to give an account of our lives, no matter what good came out of our deeds.
Let’s work on trusting God to take care of His own and staying within the will of God. Prayerful studying and obeying God’s word and seeking both the wisdom and energy to obey God’s will are helpful in this area.
Read Judges 3:29-30
III. Israel’s Victory. In this section of the Sunday School material the people of Moab were conquered. About 10,000 soldiers were killed. The land rested from war for 80 years (four score or 4 x 20 years).
- Watch your company. Notice in vs. 29 the danger of associating with the wicked. About 10,000 soldiers were killed because of their association with the wicked king.
If we are not careful, we will find ourselves in trouble with God like those in the Sunday School material because of the company that we keep.
Let’s work on avoiding wicked company and developing a network of supportive disciples. The church ought to be a place of developing a network of supportive disciples.
- Staying obedient to God. Notice in vs. 30 of the Sunday School material that the people of God experienced eighty years of peace.
One would think that these eighty years of peace in addition to all that God had done for them would make them extra committed to living according to God’s will. However, time will show that they still turned back to sin.
If we are not careful, we will take all of the blessings, grace, and mercy of God and still turn back to sin. Let’s work on staying obedient to God.
Sometimes the way we get so far from God is by taking small steps at a time from time-to-time away from Him. And before we know it, we have strayed a significant distance from Him.
Conclusion: Let’s repent and follow God’s will for our lives. God has much for those who obey His will.
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