Sermon … Chapter 8

Local Heroes

Nov 3, 2013 | by Rev. Stephen Heinzel-Nelson | series: The Story

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Crazy like a fox

FoxThis week we cover the book of Judges. At least a portion of it. As has been the case in prior weeks, we see a common pattern. The Israelites fall away from God. God allows them to experience the consequences of that disobedience. They cry out to God, who saves them. The people come back to God for a while. Rinse and repeat.

The common thread in the stories from Judges that were included in this week’s chapter seems to be how God used the weak and lowly to accomplish great things. Ehud took out the leader of the Moabites by pretending servitude. Sisera, the general of the Canaanite king, was taken out not in battle, but by a woman with a tent stake through the head. Gideon, a farmer from an insignificant family, used just 300 men to rout the Midianite army. And Samson, while physically strong, seemed by his actions to be rather weak minded 🙂

So why did God want to use these weak people? Was God crazy? Or crazy like a fox?

The text gives one reason explicitly, at least in the case of Gideon. God says that, if the army is too large, then the Israelites will take credit for themselves, instead of giving the glory to God. But I don’t think it’s about God needing glory. I think it’s more a case of God attempting to set a new pattern. One where people know that they must depend on more than themselves. A lesson that I think many Americans would do well to learn. We in this country value that rugged individualism. The “self made man.” I think that God is saying that the self made man is ultimately a dead end. That we as human beings need to depend on God, and on each other.

Lastly, just for fun: in honor of the foxes that Samson uses to get revenge against the Philistines, here’s a video that’s been making the rounds recently. Enjoy

Assignment 8 … A Few Good Men and Women

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This week we’ll be reading the story of the judges.  That’s Chapter 8: A Few Good Men and Women.  For those reading along in your own Bible, the references are: Judges 2-4; 6-8; 13-16.

Look for this week’s reflection on Monday Morning.  In the meantime, make comments or ask questions here.  Or on the facebook group page, or on Twitter using the hashtag #apcthestory.