Summary: A challenge to greater confront, get serious, and declare personal war on our own sins.
Slaying Our ’Grendel’
Perth Bible Church Sunday, March 30, 2008 AM
Pastor Todd Leupold
This morning, I stand before you deeply disturbed . . . and yet, positively hopeful.
I am deeply disturbed by how much we are voluntarily robbing ourselves of so much blessing, opportunity, fulfillment and joy.
Not long ago the epic poem “Beowulf” was made into the first all-CGI movie. Hollywood succeeded where our schools have often failed in etching this tragic tale and it’s monster Grendel in the minds of a new generation. I mention this because I want us to understand that each of us also have our own ’Grendel.’ A grotesque monster that can’t bear to allow us true, joyful fellowship, victory or celebration in Christ. One who, at any hint of such, must interrupt and end it with suffering and destruction. Of course, the real tragedy is that this monster Grendel is the product of our own dark secrets and sins. Our own selfish and greedy adultery with an enticing siren of evil.
Even the most godly among us must be aware of what ’Grendel’ of our own folly lies in some dark cave waiting to emerge and demolish our accomplishments, hopes and dreams.
Consider, if you will, what the late author and practical jokester, Arthur Conan Doyle once demonstrated. One day Doyle chose twelve of his famous friends who were especially well known and regarded for their outstanding and admirable virtue. He then sent each one of them identical, private telegrams that simply read: “Flee at once, all is discovered!” Within 24 hrs., every one of those dozen men of great reputation had suddenly left the country!
You know, it’s funny when it’s only joke, and entertaining when it only threatens others. But when it is the Holy Spirit rather than an esoteric author who send the message and the message rather than a random ’stab in the dark’ is in fact exposing a very certain and specific truth of our lives and heart, then it is very serious business in deed!
Folks, it’s time we face the fact that we have a sin problem and we need to get serious about it! Whether so-called ’little’ sin or ’big’ sin, white or black, private or public, obvious or hidden, it must be dealt with soberly and urgently. It may take many different forms and faces, but it is still all SIN. Platitudes, suppression, running away, blaming others, pretending and minimizing may help us make friends with our sin, but it will NOT end it or keep it from ultimately destroying us!
I want, I beg us, this morning to take a long, hard look at the realities and seriousness of sin – principally as the LORD God Almighty graphically demonstrates through the prophet Hosea.
HOSEA: Reflection of God’s Love Relationship with His People
Around the time 755-725 BC, during the reign of Jeroboam II in Israel, and the successive reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah in Judah, the LORD God Almighty chose a common man of the land to be His prophet and to share His message to His people in an unusual but powerful way. Specifically, the LORD commanded Hosea to marry first a prostitute and then an adulteress enslaved to her first husband that through the cycle of accusation, punishment, and offers of hope, selfless love and selfish betrayal, God’s people would see exposed their own frail relationship with God and its inevitable consequences and possibility for restoration.
Guided by God’s Word & God’s Spirit, let us skip through this journey together and see what we too may learn of ourselves and our Lord.
To forsake the Lord, to seek satisfaction apart from Him to whom we have previously pledged our lives, is to be a spiritual whore.
Like a jealous spouse, our Lord God has no tolerance for our ’cheating’ on Him. And, when we do, He will not hesitate to expose us in our shame and stripped of pretenses and illusions.
We ’cheat’ on Him and become spiritual harlots any time we seek from another that which He has already offered and pledged to us, anytime we trust another for intimacy, security, happiness, or provision rather than Him. In essence, any time we sin – whatever ’kind’ of sin it may be!
Yet, no matter how passionately, how far or wide we may go, or how many others we offer our needs to, NONE will ever be able to provide for us, fulfill, or bless us like our ’First Husband’ – the LORD!
Sure, there may be moments or seasons when seems we are better off, but in the end we will only find ourselves destitute and without hope.
And from that misery we have insisted on for adulterous selves, He will NOT spare us – at least for a time.