Dark days indeed

The book of Judges is one that does not really jibe with today’s idea of preaching. There are occasional sermons on Gideon and Samson but the rest of the book is a bit too unsavoury for modern sensibilities.https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c5/68/8a/c5688a95f61e32158b524a6438e79493.jpg

There are several horrible events graphically recorded in this book and perhaps we wonder why the Holy Spirit inspired the inclusion of these sorts of stories in scripture.

If nothing else this book portrays humanities sinful nature when not governed by the fear of the Lord. It shows what unrestrained evil does in a society where “everyone does what is right in their own eyes”. The repeated turning away from God and subsequent suffering and horror caused are examples for us of how faithless and fickle we humans can be:”There but by the grace of God go I”. It also shines a spotlight on the faithfulness in God to His promises and as a deliverer.

The heroes in the book of Judges are not always what they could be. They are often faithless, flawed and yet all the same mightily used of God, leaving us without doubt that God can use anybody to fulfill His purposes.

The prevailing darkness and sin rampant in the time of the judge’s contrast with the persistent grace of God who works righteousness and prevails against sin and has in Christ dealt with it making it possible for sinners of deepest dye to become a new creation.

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Sons of light

In 1 Thessalonians 5 the Apostle Paul says this,But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are told what we are to be and what we are to do about it.

The world is in darkness. It likes the dark because it can then do what it likes seemingly unseen. It claims enlightenment for itself and as well as exalted principles, but behind the scenes it is all sin and degradation.

Christ who came into the world as the true light received the world’s hatred and condemnation.

Those few who fled the darkness and came to the light became in turn “lights” in the world and so it remains to this day despite all Satan’s efforts to the contrary.

Because the believer is to be a light bearer certain characteristics must be seen in them to maintain the light burning bright.

Watchfulness first and foremost,

All we encounter in the world seems to be calculated to quench the light of Christ we radiate.

Soberness, not just the abstaining from excess of alcohol but a serious and stable attitude. We are to be self mastered and self controlled. To appraise the situations we find ourselves in and react and speak in ways worthy of our high profession and example for others to follow.

Paul also tells us we need to put on Faith, hope and love. As in Ephesians 6 these things are like armour which protects us from the “Darts” of the enemy, we really need daily to put them on.

The wonderful promise to all the children of light is that salvation and to dwell eternally with Christ is there hope and reward.

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Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.

J. Oswald Sanders

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Dark days indeed

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