Summary: A Fathers Day message about three Judges from Judges 3 that have 3 very important lessons for Fathers.
Expect the Unexpected
Series: Leaders, Legends and Losers
June 15, 2014
I don’t know if you realize it, but Dad's we’re in a battle. It’s not a physical battle like “The Battle of the Bulge” or a battle in Iraq. But it’s a battle nonetheless. It’s a “spiritual” battle for our families, for our kids, a battle for our marriages. And just like any battle there are weapons, enemies & casualties.
The Israelites had allowed the values & philosophies of the people around them to infiltrate into their lives to the point that there was very little difference between them and their secular counterparts. Now, even though our world has changed dramatically since the days of the Judges, the “world system” is still the same because human nature hasn’t changed. As long as we’re in this world, God’s people are involved in a spiritual battle against Satan and his armies, and God is still looking for men and women who have what it takes to win.
In II Cor.10:4 the Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.” (2 Cor. 10:4, NIV). A principle that every Christian, (every DAD) needs to take to heart this morning is: When God goes to war, He usually chooses the most unlikely soldiers, hands them the most unusual weapons, and accomplishes the most unpredictable results through them.
That was never more evident than in this mornings passage of scripture from Judges. God uses 3 men as Judges or ‘saviors’, to deliver the Israelites from their enemies. Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar. Each of them gave to God what he had, and God used it to bring about the victory they needed. Listen…God doesn’t ‘want’ what we can’t give Him. God wants us to give Him all we have, and He’ll use THAT to bring about victory in our lives.
So if you’re going to Achieve Victory in Your Life…Dads, if you’re going to achieve victory with your families…God is asking you this morning to give Him 3 things, and we find those 3 things in the 1st 3 judges…all found in chapter 3! (do you see a pattern here?)
The 1st thing we need to give God is found in the Judge by the name of Othniel. Othniel teaches me that I need to…
1. Give God my SELF
God wants to use YOU. But He can’t (and He won’t use you), without your permission! Judges 3 starts out by saying, “These are the nations that the Lord left in the land to test those Israelites who had not experienced the wars of Canaan. 2 He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle.” -Judges 3:1,2
According to this verse, God left these ungodly nations in the Promised Land as a way of testing them, to see what they were made of. Does God still do that? Sure He does! (If you were here last week, Rudonna made a great case for the fact that God will use pain in our lives to reveal to us what we’re made of.) And so because the Israelites wouldn’t choose the easy way of obeying the Lord…He was going to use the oppression they’d endure to get them ready for battle. Now, If He did it that way in their lives, what makes you think He won’t do it in your life! God is using the trials, the battles, the crises of our lives to prepare us for battle, to make us stronger…IF we’ll let Him!
So, struggling under the physical oppression of King Cu-shan-risha-thaim for 8 years, they FINALLY cry “uncle”. (King Cushan-risha-thaim means “dark & doubly wicked”. That’s probably not what his parents named him, but that’s what kind of a person he turned out to be.) So this guy was a pretty bad dude and God responds by “raising up a deliverer” in vs. 9. READ 9-11…
The bible doesn’t tell us a lot about Othniel, but we do know that he was the son of Caleb’s younger brother. You remember Caleb right? We first learned about Othniel in chapter 1 when Caleb promised to give his daughter to the man who attacked and captured Kirith Sepher. Othniel took the challenge, won the victory, AND the girl! So by blood and by marriage, Othniel was part of a family noted for its courageous faith, its willingness to face the enemy… and then depend on God for the victory. Is that the kind of legacy you want for your family? Dads, is your family known as a family that depends on God for it’s victories? What would your neighbors say? God called Othniel because He was a man of character. He agreed to be used, and so the Lord sent His Spirit on him, giving Him the power he needed to defeat His enemies.