“What Are We To Do with an Angry God?
First Introduction: Israel’s Decreasing Influence; Increasingly Influenced (1:1-2:10)
A. The Trend – as the tribes begin to conquer, we see a trend from overpowering influence on the ungodly culture to lessening influence (Judg. 1:19,21,27-30). The tipping point occurs at v.31, where it is not now a question of how much influence the people of God will exert, but rather, to what degree they will be influenced by the ungodly culture. In v.34, it degenerates to the point of the tribe of Dan being pressed. As we look at our contemporary situation, I believe that we are on the latter side of this tipping point, more influenced by our ungodly culture than exerting a godly influence.
B. The Consequence (Judg. 2:2-3, ESV) – Ben told me a story following our meeting about a coyote that he found being harried by their dogs. It had been caught in a trap (a snare), and therefore one of its “wrists” was broken. He skinned the animal, and found some rather large thorns embedded. The “snares” and “thorns” had rendered the animal unable to defend itself – and so do we when we expose ourselves to the influence of an ungodly culture.
C. The Result (Judg. 2:10, ESV) – we no longer know the Lord in the fullness of His Biblical self-revelation, and we have twisted expectations for what He can do or what He should do.
The Story of Adoni-Bezek (1:1-7)
• He at one time had subjected 70 kings to servitude – they had been placed “under his feet”
• He suffered a similar fate, and had his thumbs and big toes cut off, meaning that he lost the ability to wield weapons and to take an aggressive stance
• He found it only reasonable that “as I have done, the Lord has repaid me” – a conclusion that we miss today, in spite of the fact the truth of God's "repayment" is found throughout the Scriptures
A Review of the “Repayment” theme in Scripture
Here are a selection of just 10 texts: Job 34:10-12; Ps 27:4; Rev 22:12; 2 Cor 5:10; 1 Pet 1:17; Jer 17:10; Rev 2:23; Acts 10:42; Eccl 11:9; Jer 51:56
Second Introduction: Specific Offenses and God’s Response (2:11-3:6) – these 4 terms, from 2:12-14, can be illustrated by the pain of a family in the process of breaking up. It is we who have cheated on God.
A. Abandonment – you cheated on me
B. Provocation – and you have thrown you betrayal in my face
B’ Kindled anger – I’ve had it up to here – I can’t take any more of your unfaithfulness
A’ Withdrawal – you’re going to have to leave
Analysis of a Divine “Lawsuit” (Hos 4:1; 12:2; Mic 6:1,2)
Decide, who the different key players are in this lawsuit:
a. Plaintiff; the Accused;
b. the Judge; the Jury;
c. the Prosecuting Attorney; the Defense
If you see it the same way I do, God is the Plaintiff, we are the Accused. God is the Judge, and He is the jury. What is more, He is the prosecuting attorney, and we stand before Him with virtually no defense.
Application: What Defense?
But what God has done is to give His Son, first in our place, and then as our defense. He poured out His wrath or vengeance on our sin, but since Jesus bore our sin, this punishment fell upon him. Secondly, He is now our defense attorney, so that when God looks at us, He sees us through our defense attorney, and finds that thepenalty for our sin has been paid.
This truth is laid out in the hymn, “Jesus Paid It All.” The first line of the third verse goes like this:
For nothing good have I Whereby Thy grace to claim;