Judges 19QUESTION: Culture of Procrastination - 1ANSWER:Judges 19 – Part 1
by Pastor Nathan Shepherd (Dive Chapel, Candle Key, Florida)
The band Eutychus Landing played the last steel-drummed notes of a reggae worship set. Four friends from Jamaica sat in and the sound was worshipful and inspiring. The last song was “This is My Father’s World” done with a distinct island rhythm.
Nathan Shepherd moved to the front of the warehouse that was home to the Dive Chapel’s Sunday morning service. “Very, very cool gentlemen. What a blessing! We need to expand that set and record a live worship album with songs just like that.”
Nate’s words were met with an overwhelming standing ovation. Best he could remember that was a first for the DC on a Sunday morning.
“Okay, y’all, Judges 19. Wow, here we are back to the summary statement for Israel in the latter days of the Judges. ‘There was no king in Israel.’ We keep seeing that statement and it’s appropriate because the people would not submit to authority, everybody did what he or she thought was right. If we’re not there in America today, we ain’t far from it.
“The supposedly enlightened media and education Nazis in our nation have worked for Satan for years. They’ve pretty much succeeded in convincing the majority of Americans that there are no absolutes, no set boundaries. ‘What’s right for me may not be right for you.’ ‘Watch out for number one.’ ‘Do unto others before they do unto you.’
“But gang, there ARE absolutes. The universe where we are blessed to dwell is governed by absolutes. Molecules hold stuff together. Gravity is an absolute concept. If you try and defy the laws of gravity you can absolutely end up as road kill. In these last three chapters of Judges, the children of Israel find out that there are consequences to breaking the absolute laws of God. I’m afraid the children of the United States of America are going to suffer the same dark, bitter, grim consequences.
“Let me tell you about a possible news story out of Malaysia. It seems there was a young monk, a priest in a religion that worshipped, among other things, hammerhead sharks. The priest was run out of his temple and he took one of the temple prostitutes as a live-in girlfriend. They moved up in the hills to a remote location. After a while, the girlfriend ran off with a local musician and was his lover for a while. After she got tired of the musician, she went home to her father’s house. After four months, the priest heard she was at her parents’ house and went to get her.
“The priest and his girlfriend reconciled and he talked her into coming away with him. They knew that they should leave, but each day the girl’s father talked the priest into hanging around. The priest procrastinated for five days. Finally, late in the afternoon of the fifth day – too late to travel by foot – the priest and his girlfriend hit the road. It quickly became too dark to travel and they began to get the creeps. There were bandits and tigers along that road.
“The priest said, ‘if we walk a few more miles, we can spend the night with my cousin in the town of Ganshoon.’ So they did. The cousin welcomed them in and fed them dinner. About ten o’clock that night, a mob of men came and banged on the cousin’s door. Like Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah, they said they wanted to have sex with the traveling priest. And, like Lot in Sodom, the cousin said, ‘no, look I’ll send out my 14-year-old daughter and the traveler’s girlfriend and you can do what you want with them, but don’t do this evil thing.’
“The mob got rowdy and insistent and, in his cowardice, the weird-religion priest grabbed his girlfriend and shoved her out the door. The mob raped and abused her all night. At daybreak, she crawled to the front porch of the cousin’s house and died.
“When the priest woke up and opened the front door, there his girlfriend lay. He poked her with his foot and said, ‘get up woman, we’ve got to be going.’ He then realized she was dead. He put her on his donkey and took her body to his home. When he got there, he took a hunting knife and cut his girlfriend into twelve pieces. He boxed the pieces with a note that explained how he’d been treated by the men of Ganshoon, and sent a box to the newspaper in each state of Malaysia.
“Now, how many of you have heard that story or one like recently?” About two-thirds of the hands in the big, open, warehouse room went up.
“Well, it’s not true, per se. It’s a modernized version of Judges 19. But the point I’ll make is that it rings true to most of us. And, the fact that we can see it happening should scare us to death. It’s an indicator that we are living in a world, a culture where everybody does what is right in their own eyes.Judges 19 – Read Part 2!