Judges 19 – Part 2QUESTION: Culture of Procrastination - 2ANSWER:Judges 19 – Part 2
by Pastor Nathan Shepherd (Dive Chapel, Candle Key, Florida)
“Most of you know Hudson Tanner. Hud is eighty-six years old. He fought in World War 2. He was a missionary to Indonesia for twenty years. His wife passed away when they were in their early fifties and Hud preached for twenty-three years at a church in Chiefland, Florida. He’s now one of Reef Restoration Ministries’ most valuable volunteers.
“I was talking to Hud this week about Judges 19. He preached on it in the early 1970’s. He told me that thirty years ago this stuff in the book of Judges, especially this story, was so foreign to the American culture that people were repulsed and confused by it. Few people had cable, the newspapers didn’t print gross, sensationalistic rape and murder stories. Nobody talked about homosexuality. Gang, we should be absolutely shocked that in the last thirty years our culture has spiraled around in the toilet bowl so badly. We should be shocked that we’re not shocked by the twisted story in Judges 19.
“I want to take a quick look at six things in Judges 19 that are wiping out our culture, our American society. They all stem from everyone doing what is right in their own eyes.
“First, in verse 2, the priest has a concubine. Writings from men of Israel in Biblical times commonly stated that a man generally had a wife to bear and raise his children and a concubine for sexual pleasure. I would make the leap to connect concubines with Internet porn today.
“Second, still in verse 2, the concubine ran off on and slept with another man. My friends at FamilyLife ministries tell me that one of the biggest problems in marriages today are the wives having affairs. In many, many cases, wives know their husbands are spending a lot of time with pornography and they don’t know how to confront them. As the secret sin festers, the wives feel devalued and become sitting ducks for adultery. Ouch.
“As we read Judges 19, verses four through nine, we see a model of temptation and procrastination. Giving in to all of the temptations around us and putting things off are two sins that are completely slaughtering the people of Jesus today. Enough said.
“Fourth, in verse 22, it says, ‘suddenly, certain men of the city, perverted men, surrounded the house and beat on the door’. They demand, ‘Bring out the man who came to your house, that we may know him carnally.’ Homosexuality. There is a wicked frenzy that Satan has created among much of the homosexual activists. If you’ve seen any footage from gay pride rallies, which again would have been unheard of thirty years ago, you’ll have witnessed the crazed, worldly fanaticism, bent on offending others.
“We have to be very, very careful with condemnation when it comes to the world and the homosexual movement. If Jesus were here today, he’d probably be spending chunks of time with people who are entangled by that sin. But, understand, we are all entangled in different sins.
“I want to say this carefully, because we need to prayerfully strive to love folks out of that lifestyle. And, clearly know this, gang, it is a lifestyle, not something God wove into these folks as he knitted them together. People want to say, ‘Oh, they were born that way.’ Time out! We were all ‘born that way’. It is in us. It is a twisted, crooked gene in our DNA. It came down from Adam. It is called sin. Don’t blush over it, don’t deny it, pray for those who you see entangled by that seemingly hopeless spider web.
“Fifth, I just want to touch on the increase of sex crimes in the world today. When men do what is right in their own eyes, women suffer. Have you ever considered that women are grossly mistreated in virtually every philosophy created by humans? Think Islam. Ponder Hinduism. Women are forced to be second class citizens. Except in Christianity. Jesus is the One who values women. Wow. Think of the work Satan has done to convince the world otherwise.
“Finally, as an indicator of our being entrenched in a culture where everyone does what is right in their own eyes, I put forth the perversion of sensationalism. The modern press corps would tell you that they just want to sell news. I would tell you that stirring up the populace with exaggerations, mis-directions, and outright lies is one of the most detrimental things that can happen in a society. The world press today appears to think they are smarter than everyone else and that they can decide what is right and what is wrong – in their own eyes. The gross, criminal, scary, twisted, deadly, demented, evil repercussions of those attitudes and actions will be demonstrated in Technicolor in Judges 20.
“Groovy guys and groovy girls, I’ve been harsh today. This is one of the most disturbing, graphic, and brutal chapters in the whole Bible. But, it should serve as a clear warning that we, as a culture, are headed for self-destruction. We so need to fall on our faces before the LORD and repent.
“Please turn to Second Chronicles 7, verse 14.” The turning Bible pages sounded like a rushing wind. “It says, ‘If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.’ Never, never have we been more in need of doing just that. I love you guys. Amen.Judges 20 – Go!