Judges 1QUESTION: The Ravages of Gossip - 1ANSWER:Judges 1 - Part 1
by Pastor Nathan Shepherd (Dive Chapel, Candle Key, Florida)
The last notes of the steel drums faded away and Pastor Nathan Shepherd walked to the front of the concrete-floored, waterfront warehouse. He sat on the edge of the makeshift, wooden stage and addressed the congregation of the Dive Chapel.
“Hmm. The reggae version of ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’, thanks guys, we’ll have to remember we can sing that one anytime during the year. Good morning, gang. I want to welcome anyone who might be here for the first time. We had to put out more chairs so I know we’ve got more folks than we usually do. I talked to about ten guys from the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at the University of Miami and, as you know, I’m not a Hurricanes fan, but guys, you’re welcome here anytime. I hope we see you often.
“Last week, we jumped into the Old Testament book of Judges. I hope you all brought your Bibles and will turn right now to Judges chapter one. Judges is right between Joshua and First Samuel, actually Ruth is in there too, but it’s so short you probably won’t hit it.
“Before we go to the text, I want to mention something that I like to say often. To me, one of the most important verses in Scripture is Acts 17:11. Basically it says, ‘the Bereans were more noble than the Thessalonicans because they diligently searched the scriptures every day to check up on Paul.’ Did you get that? To ‘check up’ on what the Apostle Paul preached. Wow. I’ve got to tell you, gang, Billy Graham is about that big compared to Paul.” Nate held up his right hand with his thumb and index finger about an inch apart.
“Now if those noble, first-century Christians in Berea were studying the Word every single day to make sure what Paul said was true, you better be spending some serious time checking scripture to make sure what yours truly says is right on. Okay?
“As we dive into Judges 1:1, I’ll remind you all that the premise we want to follow as we study through this book is that the children of Israel continually disobeyed God. He longed for them to invade their Promised Land and live in abundance through faithfulness and obedience – the same thing He desires for us as we live in the Promised Land of our salvation. But, just like the children of Israel, we fail to wipe out and run off the Canaanites in our lives. We co-habitate with sin.
“One of the major sins most of us fail to eradicate from our lives is gossip, backbiting, naysaying, am I right? I believe much of our gossiping and cutting down others comes from our own insecurities. As a contrast, in Psalm 17:3, King David says, ‘I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.'Judges 1 – Read Part 2!