Sermon Intro Video (Check youtube: “cbsmmedia judges intro video”)
Every single Monday, week after week after week, I would hear the same thing: “That’s the last time I’ll ever get drunk!” It was an annoying, repetitive cycle. My friend would go out that weekend, get hammered, puke his guts out, not remember much from the weekend, and come in to work every Monday morning vowing to NEVER do it again. Do you know people caught up in the sin cycle? Are you one of those people?
The book of Judges helps us to take a step back, see our sin cycle, and kill it! In Judges 1 – 2, we read that Israel is caught up in the sin cycle. They would start worshipping fake gods, God would discipline them by handing them over to their enemies, they’d cry out to God for help, and God would send them a deliverer to rescue them. How did they keep getting caught up in the sin cycle? As they were taking over the promise land from their enemies, they didn’t annihilate all of their enemies like God told them to. So when Israel enslaved their enemies, God used their enemies to discipline them by enslaving Israel. Thus, you got yourself a real sin cycle that kept repeating. We have got to remember that. The little sins we don’t kill…that don’t seem like a big deal… they will end up leading to bigger and more repetitive sins that enslave us. We have got to take a step back, ask God to surface our sin cycle, and kill them off before they kill us!
The way God would kill Israel’s sin cycle was by sending judges which honestly were pretty close to comic book superheroes…but whose super power was the Holy Spirit! In Judges 3:12-30, Israel fell into their sin cycle, was enslaved by King Eglon of Moab for 18 years, and then cried out to God for deliverance. God heard their cries, and sent them Ehud as their super-deliverer. Ehud was a lefty, but probably not by birth. Historians tell us that he was born as a Benjaminite, which meant he was trained at an early age as a special forces warrior to fight ambidextrous. Dude was also strategic. He got into King Eglon’s chambers by tapping into his cockiness…bringing him a tribute. Long story short – once in Eglon’s chamber, Ehud thrusts his hand-made sword into the fatty gut of Eglon (whose name literally means “fattened calf for death”), left the sword in his fat gut which enclosed over the sword, and most likely escaped down the toilet pipe and through the sewer. Eglon’s guards thought he was just in his chamber going number two because he was taking forever and they could smell the feces that he unloaded upon death. The craziest part of all…this is all in the Bible! Definitely the grossest story ever! The Israelites then rose up, annihilated Moab, and they were freed for the next 80 years.
Why is it that everyone seems to have a huge desire to be delivered? Teenage girls fantasize about being found by Romeo, or a knight in shining armor who will rescue them from their home life, adore them for the rest of their life, make them their world, and protect them from all harm. Teenage guys just want to be delivered from the mundane and boring life without adventure. Ehud vs. Eglon is ultimately a story that is fulfilled in God’s ultimate Deliverer – Jesus Christ. Jesus has delivered us from power of Satan by His death and resurrection. Jesus will fully deliver us from the curse of sin and death when He returns (1 Thess 1:9-10). Jesus is the Deliverer that we’re hoping for!
We’re now embarking into the Easter season. For some stupid reason, it’s not cool these days to talk about the death and resurrection of Jesus. More pastors just talk about a relationship with Him, or how to use Him to have your best life now. But if you really want to live a godly life, to overcome the cycle of sin that you’re in, and to truly treasure your life in Christ…let Jesus deliver you from even your littlest lingering sins by a constant cycle of repentance and trust in His death and resurrection. Don’t be like most Christians and turn the pastor off this Easter, realize that the gospel is still for your life!