“Polygamy & Acceptable Sins” April 22

 

Polygamy & Acceptable Sins

“Why did God allow polygamy in the Old Testament?” I’ve heard that question many times. The truth is, it has always been sin, but at that time it was an acceptable sin by most people’s standards. What sin have you allowed to become acceptable?

 

Today’s Readings:
Judges 9 & 10
Psalm 50.1-6
Proverbs 14.25-27
Luke 16.1-31

 

& :

ACCEPTABLE SINS

In Gideon had fallen into the sin of polygamy. Though it was tolerated in that society, it was never God’s intent. It always led to trouble and often outright evil as it did here in chapter 9.

We are introduced to Abimelech his son by another relationship (Gideon didn’t even marry this woman). Sin always spirals downward unless repented of and forsaken. Abimelech, not only conspired to become king of Shechem, but set out to kill all of his brothers—70 of them. He succeeded in killing all but one who hid from him.

What is God saying to us through this story? What principles can we learn? Possibly about the dangers of compromise?

If we trace this story back to , we see Gideon went from his great victory to making an ephod and setting it up in his hometown. An ephod generally referred to a sacred garment worn by a priest.

Matthew Henry says this may have included some kind of oracle to divine God’s will. The end of verse 27 says, “But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family.” Continue reading

“The Care & Feeding of Prodigals” April 21

 

care & feeding of prodigals

Do you have a prodigal in your life? If so, how are you responding? Are you helping or just helping them stay happy in their pigsty?

From our other readings:

What is death? Why do we call an unbeliever spiritually dead? What is the second death?

And what about you … Are you a talker or a doer? Talking about God isn’t living for God. Talking about winning souls is not sharing the Gospel. Talking about prayer is not prayer.

 

Today’s Readings:
Judges 7 & 8
Psalm 49.10-20
Proverbs 14.22-24
Luke15.11-32

 

Luke15.11-32:

The care and feeding of prodigals

Yesterday I talked about the danger of having a “ho-hum, I’ve heard that before” attitude about the stories in the Bible that are familiar to us. Today’s reading is another very familiar story, that of the “prodigal son.”

So often when we read this well-known parable, our minds go to all the prodigals we know. Or maybe we think about our own testimony, how we were once prodigals. And there are great lessons to be learned in those areas.

We need to identify those prodigals we know so we can pray for them, but we also need to take a closer look at some of the other important points in this parable.

Let’s start with the father in the story, how he responded, not just to his son’s homecoming, but also to his prodigal years.

Perhaps you have a prodigal, a son or daughter you have prayed for and wept over. You’re probably looking forward to the day you can say, “My son (or daughter) was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (v. 24).

We often fret and push and prod our prodigals to repent and come home. And, all too often, instead of letting them spend enough time in the pigpen to come to the end of themselves, we keep “feeding them”—bailing them out of many of their problems, not understanding that the “hunger” they are experiencing is God’s method of helping them come to their senses.

This father was watching for his son, but he didn’t go after him, he didn’t send him money or help him in some way when he was “down on his luck.” It’s important to remember, the father in the story represents God who knows everything that is going on in the lives of His prodigals, yet let’s us go our way and lovingly allows us to suffer the consequences of our actions.

And what about the “older brothers” in our families? The older brother in the story represents the Pharisees with their self-righteous, self-sufficient attitudes.  Continue reading

“Are you bored with God’s Word?” April 20

 

bored Are you bored with God’s Word? Do you allow God’s Word and God’s wisdom to affect your heart intensely or is it too often “Ho, Hum, I’ve heard that before”?

 

Today’s Readings:
Judges 5 & 6
Psalm 49.1
Proverbs 14.20-21
Luke 15.1-10

 

& :

A familiar story

Probably one of the most familiar stories in Judges is the story of Gideon. Those of you who were brought up in Sunday school have probably heard the story many times.

But God doesn’t want us to come to His Word, going “ho-hum, heard that one before.” His Word is “quick” as the old King James Version says. That means it’s “alive.” Think of the “quick” under your fingernails—very much “alive,” as you know, if you’ve ever gotten a splinter under there!

Remember our questions from yesterday and how we can use them to dialog with the Lord. What are You trying to tell me through this passage? Is there a promise here I can claim? Is there a command I should obey? Is there a principle I need to put to work in my life? Is there an example I should follow?

So what can we learn from this familiar story? One thing that jumped out at me is in verse 6.6:

“So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD.”

prayerThese were tough economic times for the children of Israel and they responded by “crying out to the Lord.”

Difficult times should drive us to prayer, as well, but passages like this should also remind us that ongoing consistent prayer for God’s wisdom can keep us from many of the consequences of our own foolishness which bring financial and other problems.

Continue reading

April 22 “Polygamy & acceptable sins”

“Why did God allow polygamy in the Old Testament?” I’ve heard that question many times. The truth is, it has always been sin, but at that time it was an acceptable sin by most people’s standards. What sin have you allowed to become acceptable?

acceptable sins

Today’s Readings:
Judges 9 & 10
Psalm 50.1-6
Proverbs 14.25-27
Luke 16.1-31

Judges 9 & 10:

Acceptable sins

In Judges 8.30-31 we saw that Gideon fell into the sin of polygamy. Though it was tolerated in that society, it never was God’s intent. It always led to trouble and often outright evil as it did here in chapter 9. Sin always spirals downward unless repented of and forsaken. We meet Abimelech his son by another relationship (Gideon didn’t even marry this woman). Abimelech, not only conspired to become king of Shechem, but then went and killed all his brothers—70 of them—all except one who hid from him.

What is God saying to us through this story? What principles can we learn? Possibly about the dangers of compromise? If we trace this story back to 8.27, we see Gideon went from his great victory to making an ephod and setting it up in his hometown. An ephod generally referred to a sacred garment worn by a priest. Matthew Henry suggests this may have also included some kind of oracle to try to divine God’s will. Remember that the place of worship at this time was at Shiloh not here in Ophrah. The end of verse 27 says, “But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family.” Continue reading

April 21 “Care and feeding of prodigals”

How are you responding to your prodigal? Are you helping or hindering?

And what about you … Are you a talker or a doer? Talking about God isn’t living for God. Talking about winning souls isn’t sharing the Gospel. Talking about prayer isn’t prayer.

prodigals

Today’s Readings:
Judges 7 & 8
Psalm 49.10-20
Proverbs 14.22-24
Luke15.11-32

Judges 7 & 8:

Gideon’s 300

“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Cor. 1.27). We see the truthfulness of that verse in the story of Gideon. It would seem like foolishness to send 32,000 men home and keep only 300 to fight an enemy who were “as numerous as locusts” and who had “camels without number.”

When we feel the weakest and the least able, or even foolish in comparison to some people, who are full of the world’s wisdom, that’s when God can use us in the greatest way if we will trust Him to direct us. Continue reading

April 20 “Ho, Hum, I’ve heard that before”

Do you allow God’s Word and God’s wisdom to affect your heart intensely or is it too often “Ho, Hum, I’ve heard that before”?

I've heard that before

Today’s Readings:
Judges 5 & 6
Psalm 49.1
Proverbs 14.20-21
Luke 15.1-10

Judges 5 & 6:

Mighty man of valor

Probably one of the most familiar stories in Judges is the story of Gideon. Those who have been brought up in Sunday school have probably heard the story many times. But God doesn’t want us to come to His Word, going “ho-hum, heard that one before.” His Word is “quick” as the old KJV says. That means it’s “alive.” Think of the “quick” under your fingernails—very much “alive” as you know if you’ve ever gotten a splinter under there!

Remember our questions from yesterday and how we can use them to dialog with the Lord. What are You trying to tell me through this passage? Is there a promise here I can claim? Is there a command I should obey? Is there a principle I need to put to work in my life? Is there an example I should follow? Followed by a rereading of the passage. Continue reading