Thursday, October 11, 2012
Scratching The Surface of Judges
Scratching the Surface of Judges
You may have heard about the fellah who did the right thing and didn't try to beat a red light by accelerating through the intersection.
A tailgating young woman behind him was furious, honked her horn repeatedly, screamed in frustration, gestured obscenely, and dropped the cellular and lipstick that she had been juggling while keeping one eye on the road and the other in the mirror.
While still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on the window.
It was a very serious-looking police officer.
He ordered her out of the car, cuffed her, and then took her to the police station to be fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.
After a few hours, another officer came to her cell, opened it, and escorted her back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal property.
He said, "I'm very sorry for my mistake. I pulled up behind your car while you were honking your horn, screaming, cursing, and making obscene gestures. Having noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do?' and 'Choose Life' and 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper stickers and fish emblem on the trunk, I just thought someone had stolen your car."
Here's one that happened to me.
A guy sported a "Honk If You Love Jesus" bumper sticker on his back fender. I honked and he gave me the finger.
It's like that annoying question that pops into the mind every now and then, "If Christianity were a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict me?"
Are we identifiably His?
Judges reminds us to be identifiably His for His honor and our own good.
Like Moses and Joshua before them, the judges or reminders reminded people to remember God as the Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior and respond accordingly even if it means going counter-culture.
Again, like Moses and Joshua before them, the judges reminded people of God's role in their lives as Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior, called people to repeat behavior based on that belief, and retool fidelity to the circumstances.
I like how Tozer explained faithful remembrance, repetition, and retooling: "The way to spiritual power and favor with God is to be willing to put away the weak compromises and the tempting evils to which we are prone to cling. There is no Christian victory or blessing if we refuse to turn away from the things God hates...Even if your wife loves it, turn away...Even if your husband loves it, turn away...Even if it is something that has come to be accepted by the whole generation, turn away...Every Christian holds the key to his or her own spiritual attainment...if he or she refuses to hate sin and evil and wrong, our churches might as well be turned into lodges or clubs."
The book reminds us that we are never "caught in the middle" if we are really His. We're either for Him or against Him. Jesus was commandingly clear, "You cannot serve two masters...If you love Me, you will obey Me."
The book features judges or reminders who rescued people willing to follow God as Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior: "The Lord raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their enemies."
The game plan was simple.
As Tug McGraw yelled to those Amazin' Mets of the late 60s, "You gotta believe!"
We gotta believe and we gotta behave like we believe to be rescued.
It is the thread weaving throughout Holy Scripture.
Trust God and be blessed.
Conversely, lack of trust makes it impossible to tap into His rivers of living water.
It's also interesting to note in Judges that the heroes are quite human.
They could sin with the worst of us.
That reality has a way of reminding and rescuing us as well.
We are reminded that God alone is Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior.
Only God is completely trustworthy.
And when it comes to rescuing, we need Someone a lot more divine than judges.
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!