April 5th, 2020 | Palm Sunday / Book of Judges
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Welcome on behalf of Oak Grove Bible Fellowship!
Join us again this week as we open the Scriptures and join in song from our homes! Feel free to add comments and/or reflections to the Comments section below!
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1)STUDY TIME IN THE WORD
Judges Overview / Palm Sunday | Derrick Pack
Good morning, and Happy Palm Sunday!
I have to say that, as I looked at today and tried to see how we could fit what we’ve been reading together with Palm Sunday, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to.
But as I turned to the passages about the Triumphal Entry in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, I saw something that linked to a point I was already feeling led to discuss this week out of Joshua and Judges. So this should be exciting!
We will have more singing/song this morning, some at the beginning, and some after. Songs are via YouTube playlists and contain the words in them.
Before we start today, it’s good to take a moment to pause, rest, and refresh our hearts before the Lord.
1) Prepare Your Heart in Song
If you’re able to, listen and/or sing along with the following songs before starting this morning (click here for the full playlist):
2) Prepare your heart in prayer
Take a moment before the Lord, take a deep breath and let it out slowly, come and rest in His presence:
B) Joshua, Judges, & Israel
Deut. 6 and 11, Children, & Inheritance
We just wrapped up the book of Joshua and then went through most of Judges this week in our yearly Bible Reading. Judges records a very dark period in Israel’s history, a downward moral spiral that goes from bad to worse.
review Moses’s instructions to this generation, before the went into the land to take it again: read Deut. 6:10-25
God cared about children! And not only because He loves children: because children are the future, the ongoing legacy.
The Land of the Canaanites
As we saw last week, the people of the land of Canaan had been given over 400 years of grace, but their time had run out: God’s patience and longsuffering is not for forever. They had utterly corrupted themselves, and by the time Israel enters, the “sin of the Amorites is complete” (see Gen. 15:16).
One of the greatest evils of these people groups, however, is that they offered their children as sacrifices to their gods.
Aside from the horror or this, it is so appalling to God because it is the ultimate act of selfishness: it is sacrificing future generations for your own immediate comfort, security, or gain.
This is the complete opposite of what God commanded the Israelites to do. Instead, He instructed them not only to follow His commands but to take care to pass them to future generations. This would have enabled them to dwell in peace in the land and overcome their enemies
Read the promise in Deut. 11:22-25.
In verse 26-28, God made it very clear: it was a choice between blessing and curse.
The Last Example of Joshua
Turn to Joshua 24:15 and read it aloud.
Quite often we see this verse quoted for a new father, or at a wedding as a new couple sets out to build a home that follows God.
After him, all the elders who led with him.
And things take a turn for the worse.
What Israel Becomes
Judges 2:1-3:6 gives a pretty solid “prologue” to the book, summarizing everything that’s going to happen, and why.
Failure to Pass Along
There were a few reasons why Israel spiraled downward, but we don’t have time to look at them all. Instead, I want to focus on one.
In the end: they looked no better than the Canaanites
The book of Judges creates a downward cycle that gets worse and worse till in the end, the people are hardly distinguishable from the wicked people surrounding them. They get so bad, they actually think God’s character would demand child sacrifice as well (see Judges 11)!
They failed to conquer the land, they adopted and worshiped their gods, and they forsook the Lord. Instead of passing this heritage of following the Lord along to their kids, they marry women who worship other gods (which you can imagine could create some tension in a marriage and home, not to mention what that would do to future generations).
Setting the Stage for a Future Leader
The Need for a Leader
The remarkable thing about the narrative in Joshua to Judges is that the people only follow the Lord as long as there’s a leader over them. And, when there isn’t...they almost seem to fail to recognize they are the ones sinning!
They follow as long as there’s a leader. And, we see these leaders (not all of them even Godly or moral) lead the people and there’s “peace in the land,” but then they die… and the people fall back into sin.
If only they had someone to lead them, who had no sin, and who couldn’t die…
C) The Coming of the King
Are you seeing how these events in the Old Testament pointed forward? How they are part of the Grand Narrative? How each one shows a need, and how “temporary solutions” don’t suffice to fix it?
It All Points to Christ
God summed all this (and more) up in one Man, Jesus Christ. When we read these things in the OT, they point us to Him.
The Triumphal Entry
And so we come to Palm Sunday.
Read the story in Matthew 21:1-17.
We come to why the entry of this Man was so magnificent: He was all the above, the fulfillment of every aspect where others had fallen short.
And He was here.
For a short time, some in Israel saw it! And so they rejoiced as He rode into Jerusalem on that donkey that day.
But did you notice what Matthew recorded?
God’s heart is to pass along His truth and relationship with Him from generation to generation. This was Jesus’ heart when on earth! Is it ours?
Maybe you don’t have children of your own, or maybe they are grown. Well… neither did Paul (or many other saints)! Don’t let that stop you!
You can still have God’s heart in this, the heart to pass along His truth to another generation! Ask Him for opportunities, whether in your family or not, where you can pass along Who He is to the next generation.
Closing thoughts to ponder throughout the day:
Hosanna in the Highest!
2)SONGS OF RESPONSE
Spend some time in song and worship, responding to the above. Today is a longer song set (around a half hour). Sing as much or as little as you'd like!
Feel free to play as much or as little as you’d like! There is a full hymnal you can download for today with all songs in the keys sung in: Full Hymnal or Condensed Hymnal (smaller/2pg booklet)
Lyrics will be on the YouTube videos below. Watch inline below, or click here for the playlist to open in a new window.
(prepared by Glenn Rank)
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen! (Gal 1:3-5)
In preparation for gathering this morning as brothers and sisters in Christ to praise God and come before his throne with our prayers, I was reminded of Psalm 27:13-14, which reads:
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
What I have always loved about this verse is that regardless of how much things might seem to be falling apart in the world around us, we can rest in the goodness of God. We know that he loves us so much that he gave his one and only Son to pay the penalty for our sin, we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, we know that he delights in exercising kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, and the list goes on.
In the midst of trials, may we never cease to praise his name. How often do we dive into our “wish list” without taking a moment to acknowledge and praise him?
I encourage you to read Psalm 19:1-6 and Psalm 9:1-2 to start your time of prayer this morning. If you need inspiration for things you could be praying for, please refer to Dan’s or Churchill’s excellent suggestions in their Prayer Time notes from the previous two At-Home Service Guides.
Blessings to you all!
Click "Full Service Download" for combined study guide, list of songs, and prayer guide.
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