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Overview of Judges

Broken Heroes  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We just finished our series called toxic-removing people, activities, and things that hinder our relationship with God. As I began to look for our next series the book of Judges wouldn’t leave my mind so we are going to talk about broken heroes. Last week we also talked about cubism paintings and how we are distorted images of Christ. I believe this photo also conveys this same idea. On this side of glory the most we can ascertain in this life is to be a broken hero.
The book of Judges is an odd book because it isn’t in chronological or even in a geographical order. Much life the heroes the book of Judges even seems to be broken. In reality the book of Judges is a collection of or narration of leadership. The book of Judges is considered to be:

A Shift in the Standard of Evaluating Evil

The first section of the book is Israel doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord
The second part of this book is doing what is right in their own eyes.
The entire pattern of the book of Judges is Israel abandoning God, God allowing outside forces to punish them, Israel begging for forgiveness, God raising up a Judge to deliver them. Remember at this time Israel had never had a king. They were guided by Prophets and by the words of God.
As we go through this book we will find that
Ch 1-2 Establishes the political and religious setting
Ch. 3-16 are the hero narratives-Problematic leaders making tragic mistakes leading to divine deliverance.
Ch. 17-21 reflects the choas resulting from false worship and tribal disunity combined with moral disobedience.
Another reason I find the book of Judges interesting is because it comes after the two greatest leaders of all time and displayes the results of two different leadership styles.
The first leader was Moses. Moses poured was a leadership developer. Moses not only lead Israel, but also raised up individuals to continue the call of God and to keep God’s people from straying from the narrow Path.
Before getting a king Israel was a direct reflection of the New Testament church. Israel followed a man of God, not a king. God served as their king and guide and supplied the man of God the vision and leadership skills to take His people where God wanted them to go.
In the midst of Moses’ leadership development Joshua arose to take over the leadership of God’s people. Moses poured himself into Joshua which after Moses Death resulted in
Joshua 1:5 ESV
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.
Tonight I want to chat with you about your legacy because how we leave our life will determine the affect we have on the people around us. The book of Judges is a broken book because of Joshua-a broken leader.
Joshua did many great things. God’s words to Joshua came to life through him. Joshua was a man of great victories during his life, but his death lead to many failures.
If you get nothing tonight get this:

It is possible to enjoy great blessings in your life while leading your family into unspeakable failures.

Many reasons result in children of righteous parents leading rebellious lives and I believe in part this is due to leadership failures. The fall of many churches are due to leadership failures. I have watched churches fall apart when a Pastor leaves or dies because, while the Pastor did an amazing job leading the church he failed to raise up leadership behind him. It is my prayer that no matter how well I may lead you while I am here my leadership will continue through the lives of those I equipped so that God’s mission will continue when I am gone. The same should be true for each and every one of you. You families should thrive in your presence as well as out of it.

People who follow you grow in their relationship with God under your direction, but flourish in your absence.

Paul tells the Philippian church that we should be concerned about finishing the race set before us. Pressing on toward the goal.
Many pastors equate this verse into running a marathon, but I believe that we can see in proper biblical examples that our life should resemble more of a relay race than a marathon.
In a relay race everyone trains. One may know more about how to train, but that one directs the others and teaches them how to properly train to win the race.
We see this in the courses of Moses’ leadership. He not only lead he taught another to take the baton when he died.
Like Joshua, Geoffrey Mutai ran the nest race he could. He completed the Boston Marathon in 2 hours 3 minutes and two seconds. He did this in 2011 and continues to hold the best time to this date. However, someone will beat him, his name will be forgotten, and his legacy will die. He trained, but people won’t remember. He sweat, bled, won, but poeple won’t remember. Why? Because there’s no one who will carry his mission. We read about Joshua, but after Joshua’s death all his victories didn’t matter because no one was left to carry the torch. This led Israel to wonder astray and eventually led them to asking for a king.

Joshua’s biggest failure is that he ran his race alone

He left no one to lead the flock and the flock scattered.
Moses ran the same race as Joshua. upon Moses’ death Israel kept growing, because he raised Joshua to continue to teach them.
I believe this church-your life is meant to live far past your life. I believe we are called to echo into the lives of those we leave behind.
Our church-your life- will meaning nothing. The church will fail, your family will stray when their isn’t someone who is prepared to lead after the leader has passed.
But God—God can carry them, God can lead them, but look through the history of the church, of the Israelites, of families. Children who are left without parents will get in trouble. Churches without a shephard will scatter and close. Israel anytime they were left without a physical leader went astray. History shows people aren’t destined to listen to God without being led. That’s why God created the five fold ministry—to lead.
Our church has become an amazing church. I believe we are becoming what God saw in the first century church.
We are following God, we follow the example of
Acts 4:34 ESV
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold
As a Pastor I am often overwhelemed at our small churches ability to meet the needs of people. You guyshave an tramendous attitude of giving and sacrifice, but the only way that will continue will be if we raise up baton catchers. If we raise up disciples.
Acts 4:39
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:
look at the direct connection between making disciples and God being with us, not until the end of our life, but then of the age. The word age translates as the time when Christ comes and reigns in time yet to come.
We are teach people to run the race. Raise up not only race runners, but trainers.
I believe Moses’ biggest leadership failure was not imparting the importance of discipleship when he was discipling Joshua.
I believe God wants to teach us the importance of not just spreading His Word, but also creating word spreaders.
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