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Summary: FCF: God is big enough to accomplish whatever he wants with whomever he wants.

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Lessons in Faith from an Idiot

Text: Judges 11 (The Story of Japheth)

FCF: God is big enough to accomplish whatever he wants.

Note: Invocation = Ecclesiastes 3

Outline

If God wants to do something,

I. He’ll use whomever he wants

II. He’ll use them however he wants

III. He’ll use them because he wants

Intro: Last night we watched Secondhand Lions and had a great time. I really liked the line when Huck gave Walter his “What a boy needs to know when he becomes a man” speech. He said, “Sometimes, you have to decide what stories you are going to believe.”

If there was ever a book in the Bible that has stories that you have to decide if you are going to believe them, it’s Judges. It’s got stories about Ehud who kills a fat Moabite king while he’s on the toilet. It’s got stories about Barak who is too much of a wuss to lead Israel into battle, so he has to ask a woman. And then, there’s Japheth.

I. He’ll use whomever he wants

a. Look who Japheth was – illegitimate son & an outlaw

b. As Christians, we tend to fall into two errors either we’re too bad or too good (Ruth Graham)

c. We think we need some magic “call” before God can use us

i. look at Japheth’s call – other people asked him!

ii. half the prophets don’t have their call recorded in Scripture

iii. I certainly didn’t wake up w/some beatific vision

II. He’ll use them however he wants

a. Japheth tried diplomacy, then war.

b. No dramatic story here – vs. 32 tells it all: he crossed over to fight them, and the LORD gave them into his hand.

c. Side Note: Why is God in the OT so warlike? In Joshua the Harem, etc…

i. To every there is season.

ii. Sometimes you need words, sometimes you need action.

iii. Sometimes, you just don’t understand the ways of the Lord.

III. He’ll use them because he wants

a. In the category of God’s inexplicable actions – what this child sacrifice all about. A: God never said anything about this foolish vow. (Hence my title)

b. God didn’t need any special bribe to care for his people. If he has a purpose, you can be sure he’ll accomplish it.

i. James 1:17 – Every perfect gift comes from above

ii. Phil 1:6 - He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it

iii. Matt 6:5 – Don’t pray like the hypocrites do, heaping up words!

Conclusion:

Understand this – God will be glorified, God will use whoever wants, however he wants, and for whatever reason he wants. The only question is, do we get to be a part of it?

After church last week, Richard, Chris & I were talking, and I have to tell you, I think God is going to do something in this church. We’re small – too small, and I think God can use us again. We need to start with prayer (Judges 10 – Please deliver us!) and then we need to be open to be used however God is going to use us.


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