Judges - Activists, Leaders & Liberators

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The Old Testament is full of people - real people; whose lives are messy, their families dysfunctional and their obedience not always full or immediate, yet God used them.  Our study of their lives is to bring perspective, hope and instruction to ours - to recognise that at times we are tempted to sanitise or selectively interact with their stories and in that way make them heroes.  The reality is that their stories are powerful because they are human like us and face the same temptations and frailty that we do - yet God used them.

Judges 2:7, 10-14
One generation is all it takes to lose the awareness and heart to follow God.

Judges 3:12,15, 20-22,30
The hero is a left-handed man - in those days left handed ness was considered a disability...you might have something you or others who regard as a disability...they weren’t expecting it - God can use anyone, don’t write yourself off

Deborah & Jael
Judges 4:1-4, 6-7, 14-15,17-18, 21-22
Many of us don’t appreciate the change the early Church brought to societal structure- in Galatians the coming of Jesus all 3 societal structures turned upside down: slaves led churches, gentiles led Jews and women led in their gifting - gifting not ministry is what defines leadership in the NT culture of Church.

Judges 6:1,12-16
Low self image - lowest tribe, and the weakest one of them.
32,000 down to 300 - it’s a picture of what God can do with a small group of committed people.

Judges 13:1-5,24, 14:1-3
Great weaknesses: weakness for beautiful women, wouldn’t take advice, hothead

Judges 15:9-15
Lone operator - did all the things a leader should not do

Judges 16:1-3
Phenomenal strength - that is the gift of God, morally he loses the plot...that became his undoing

Judges 16:4-6,17,21-23, 28-30
Sad story of what might of been, so much promise of what could be.
Amazingly gifted, great heart, but couldn’t control himself and missed out in the end
The key contrast between GIFT & FRUIT
The gift doesn’t say anything about the recipient- it says something about God
Jesus said, it’s not be your gifts you’ll be known, it’s your fruit...
Gifts given spontaneously/instantaneously by God but fruit takes years to grow and at the end of the day it’s the fruit that counts.