Summary: A sermon on the how the world today resembles the world during the time of Judges. i.e. where everyone did their own thing and followed false gods.

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It’s good to have you here today. I am glad you all braved the snow, the terrible weather. I have a question for you. Did Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow or not? Not. Now that’s a good thing, right? Because that means early spring. Well, that’s good. Anyway, today we are going to be talking about worship again. When we think about worship in Bellevue Christian Church, we mean Christ-centered worship. Worship that is focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe that as we exalt Christ up, as we lift Christ up, that all men and women will be drawn to the Father, will be drawn to the Father through Christ. So we are a Christ-centered church. One thing that we know, though, is that all throughout history, people have not been focused on worshiping God. Or they were focused on worshiping God and, for some reason, they have strayed from the worship of God and the result being a lot of spiritual and moral decay.

Today, we are going to look at the Book of Judges because Judges actually gives a nice picture of what I would refer to as a cycle of disobedience. Some of you know the story of Judges. Basically, it chronicles a time between the conquest of Canaan, when the Jewish people came into the Promised Land, and then about 400 years which ended in the establishment of Kings. We think about Judges we think about courthouses and things like that. These Judges were really military rulers but they were referred to as Judges because they would make decisions on things. Anyway, they entered into the Promised Land, and the first thing they were supposed to do, the Israelites, was to get rid of all the pagan gods because the Canaanites had a way of worshiping a lot of different gods, but they didn’t do that. They got a little bit lazy. They quit following the God of Yahweh, the God of Creation, and they began to turn to other Gods, resulting in sin.

I think the best way to explain this is by a graphic that I think kind of shows what is going on in the Book of Judges. This constant, what I would call, cycle of disobedience. It starts really with just complacency. Again, they were worshiping the God of creation when they entered into the Promised Land, but like a lot of people, they became complacent. They fell into idol worship, which as we will talk about, is a form of sin. Oftentimes what would happen, especially we see in Judges, God would give some sort of a judgment on the people, which often involved allowing the enemies to come in and bring their military in and destroy a lot of the people, kill people and that sort of thing. Then what would happen was the people would cry out and they would repent. They would turn from their ways. They would go back to God. He would deliver them. He would reach down and basically free them from the hands of their oppressors by sending in a new judge, and then there would be a period of peace restored where everything would go fine for a few years, and then they would get complacent again, and the cycle would begin again. That is really a picture of what is going on in Judges.

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