Who was Jephthah? On this sermon, pastor David dives into the unlikely rise of Jephthah, a broken individual chosen by God for extraordinary purposes. His life story, a vivid example of redemption, demonstrates the importance of faith in God's grace, and why trying to bargain with God for His grace is futile.
Thanks very much uh great to be able to bring God's word to you this morning you've got your Bible there you'll need to uh open up to judges uh we're going to be uh in a few different verses from uh Judges chapter 10 and uh verse 6 through into uh chapter 11 this morning invite you to open open that up and uh allow me to pray Lord we give thanks that you are a God who speaks a God who desires to be known father we praise you and give you thanks for your word which helps us to understand who you are and what it means for us to be created in your image invited into right relationship with you through faith in Jesus by your Holy Spirit would would you help us this morning as we open your word as we look at how you interacted with your people long ago would you help us to hear your voice open our eyes to who you are to know what it means to know you to love you and to live for you as your people amen if you've been following along uh uh for some time now we've been working our way through this uh Book of Judges and uh we saw that it it tracks the history of uh God's people his chosen people the nation of Israel over some 300 to 350 odd years and throughout uh This Book of Judges we'll see uh God raises up these judges and uh David helped us to understand at the beginning there that when we think of a judge we we tend to think of somebody who presides over a court of law but in this Old Testament definition it's more of a ruler or a leader more like a general or a prime minister a judge was someone who led the nation of Israel during this time period in their history what we've been seeing as we go through as we look at the lives of these judges this main message keeps coming out again and again a message of God's faithfulness towards his people in bringing Grace and Redemption to them despite their repeated turning away from him what we found is we've looked at at a number of Judges already is that there's this cycle that repeats in judges there's a a rebellion as they turn away from God and fall into sin and follow after the culture of the surrounding Nations time and time again we see them wind up worshiping and serving foreign Gods rather than the one who chose them and called them to be his people that's so God responds to their Rebellion with uh retribution he he uses the surrounding Nations as a punishment for their sin and their unfaithfulness but thankfully we see that God doesn't leave them there he graciously brings about a a rescue for his people as they cry out to him and he raises up these judges to save them and then they enter into a time of Peace a time of rest once more and then as we've seen in the previous weeks the cycle sadly repeats what we find by the time we get to to Judges chapter 10 and we've skipped over a couple of Judges we're going to come back and pick them up uh in in the next couple of weeks but as we get deeper and deeper into this book we see that the people are moving further and further away from God it's a progressive descent it's a a turning away that gets further and further and what we see is is as God comes to their rescue it it's like he has to to drag them further and further back as Israel seems to run harder and harder away from God in their rebellion and sin they get further and further away we see the cycle in uh in Judges chapter 10 uh to the beginning of chapter 12 there as we look at this judge jeepa we see the four movements in Jeff's story The People's rebellion in chapter 10 and verse six we see God's response as he brings retribution with the ammonites and the Philistines and again they cry out for Rescue and God responds and finally they have rest once more in chapter 11 and verse 33 but let's work our way through some of this together have a look at judges 10 and verse6 we find these words the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord they served the bals and the ashteroth the gods of Syria the gods of sidon the gods of Moab the gods of the ammonites and the gods of the Philistines they forsook the Lord and did not serve him in this opening verse of Jeep's story this morning in in verse 6 of chapter 10 we we see a picture of just how far the people have wandered from from the Lord the author of The Book of Judges lists seven gods of the surrounding Nations that have captured the hearts of God's people it's not one thing or one God that's drawn them away this time it's all the things all the gods this is how far they've strayed instead of worshiping and serving the one true God they've instead turned their hearts to the gods of the surrounding Nations and the author says they forsook the Lord they abandoned him and no longer served him and so then we see the second stage in our Cycles God brings retribution look at verses 7 to9 the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the ammonites they crushed and oppressed the people of Israel that year for 18 years they oppressed all the people of Israel who were beyond the Jordan in the land of the amorites which is in galed and the ammonites crossed the Jordan to fight also against Judah and against Benjamin and against the house of Ephraim so that Israel was severely distressed here we see time and time again this awful cycle repeating the people straying from God letting their hearts be turned away and and wandering after after these other gods the culture of the day around about them they find themselves in this mess and they cry out to God for rescue look at verse 10 the people of Israel cried out to the Lord saying we've sinned against you because we have forsaken Our God and have served the BS verse 11 the Lord said to the people of Israel did I not save you from the Egyptians and from the amorites from the ammonites and from the Philistines the sidonians also and the amalekites and the maites oppressed you you cried out to me and I saved you out of their hand and yet you have forsaken me and served other gods therefore I will save you no more go and cry out to the gods whom you've chosen let them save you in your time of distress it's a bit of a Twist in our narrative this morning isn't it in verse 13 there because of the actions of the people so far as they've followed along in their history with God they maybe expecting him to rush again to their rescue maybe that's what you were expecting as you came to the text this morning but there's that twist in verse 13 isn't there God says you've forsaken me and served other gods and therefore I will save you no more surprisingly God says No Cry Out to the gods you've chosen I'll save you no more just said the weight of that sit with you for a moment because it's quite the surprise not the good kind if you've been following along with us as we've journeyed Through This Book of Judges you could have expected God to do what he's always done so far and and come immediately to their rescue I'm sure that's what Israel expected God to do based on their lived experience with him to this point and so it's shocking for us to read these words it's a surprising twist in the narrative that we didn't expect God says to his people that's enough how does that sit with you as you think about what God should do how does that sit with the way that you understand God works it's troubling isn't it it seems to run counter to the the main message that we've been seeing in this book that that God is faithful to his Covenant that is gracious towards his people despite their rebellion and sin I think if we dig into this some more I think we see that the response highlights for us the graciousness of God it actually does I think this is the first lesson that we can learn this morning from our text from from jeepa the judge I think it could be the lesson that God was revealing to Israel about himself as he said said these words the lesson is that God is gracious you say hold up Dave but but didn't God say he wasn't going to save them how is this Grace how does this reveal to us or to Israel that God is gracious well when you think about it Grace by definition is undeserved it it's unmerited favor or kindness Grace is when we're treated better than we deserve if you think about Israel they they've walked away from God they've broken their relationship with him they've abandoned his Covenant their hearts had turned away so far this time that now they're serving all the gods of the Nations they their understanding of how their interacting with God Is So warped and twisted they're thinking that the reason that God has been kind to them in the past the the reason that he's come to their rescue so far is is not be because he chose to but because he had to but that's not Grace Grace is God coming to their rescue not because he has to but because he chooses to it's entirely his choice and as God rightly says he he didn't have to save them but yet time and time again he did every step in Israel's history up until this point had been a choice from God he chose Abraham for no other reason than he chose him he rescued Israel out of slavery in Egypt for for no other reason than that he wanted to he promised them an inheritance he he brought them into the promised land for no other reason than he chose to God chooses to rescue rebellious people for no other reason than because he chooses to that's Grace maybe the people were thinking that God had rescued them so many times before because this was his default position that's kind of the problem God had shown them so much kindness and mercy to this point when really what they deserve was judgment but they'd begun to feel entitled to this kindness they'd started to think that they deserved to be rescued and what they were doing was presuming on the kindness of God they were presuming upon his grace they developed this attitude of entitlement whereby they they presumed on God's grace and they get themselves into another mess they they find themselves oppressed and harass harassed by these ammonites and and Philistines and they just expect God to do what he's always done and step in and save them God's grace had become cheap to them friends the danger here is that when we start to think of Grace as cheap it no longer looks like Grace many of you know that I've been diagnosed with a chronic health condition I've had a a period of medical leave in the last little while this has meant many visits to the doctors and Specialists for treatment and Care while we have a wonderful medical system in Australia we get wonderful Care at a a fraction of the cost of many other places around the world these days as most of you would know we often must pay a fee when we go to see the doctor especially if we want to see one quickly and for folk with chronic conditions it can add up quite quickly when you making regular trips to the gp's office to Specialists and the like imagine for a moment how thrilled I was a few months ago when I I went to the reception area at the end of my consult and I was going to settle my account and I was informed that the doctor had bulked build me what a blessing that was the policy at the practice there was a mixed billing practice and as many of them are these days and so children and pensioners and Healthcare card holders are eligible for the bulk billing but the rest of us we have to pay the fee and so this day this this was a gift that I was given it was a kindness when I got home I I made sure to fire off an email thanking the doctor for his generosity as I went back and forth a number of different times this happened a few more times over subsequent visits one day I noticed myself following an appointment when I approached the reception are to ask about settling my account I didn't even pull out my card I didn't even pretend that I was ready to pay the bill I just assumed that it was going to be bulk build like the last time the doctor hadn't said anything about bulk billing me again but I guess I just presumed that it would be taken care of because it had been a few other times I hope you can see that it's at this point that even if the doctor had chosen to bulk Bill me out of the kindness of his heart even if he' chosen to bulk Bill me again I've now made it something other than a gift I've cheapened it because I've decided that I'm entitled to it in doing so I've stopped recognizing the incredible generosity that was at play here I've stopped recognizing how unusual and undeserved this is I've rejected the doctor's offer to do something kind by making it into something that I felt that I deserved I was presuming upon his grace friends that is what Israel had done God had been so kind to them time and time again here they are having done wrong and and having allowed their hearts to go after these other nations and they presume upon the grace of God to save them the lesson they needed to learn and perhaps the lesson we need to learn as well is about the grace of God he is gracious but we mustn't presume upon his grace L we run the risk of thinking that we deserve it then we cheapen it and reject it when we stop seeing how unusual and undeserved the grace of God is we run the risk of of having a warped view of God we run the risk of rejecting God's Grace by making it it into something other than the amazing gift that it is I love it that that lindle shared so so uh openly with us about her conversion and about the effect of the Amazing Grace that God has given to her in Jesus that should be all our hearts as we think about what he has done for us we should sing Amazing Grace to our to our hearts every day and let it sink in deep God's grace is not something that we deserve it's something he chooses to give I think we need to be careful that we don't get too comfortable with the sin in our lives as Israel did we need to remember how serious our sin is if we continue to allow patterns of behavior or patterns of of thinking that we know is not what God wants to live not how God wants us to live our lives we're in danger of forgetting how serious sin is it can be easy can it to justify our Behavior by thinking about God's grace and presuming upon it he'll forgive us can be a slippery slope when we tell ourselves that it's not a big deal nobody's perfect I'll address that area of weakness later there's a ton of other things I could be working on with the Lord right now I'm sure he'll forgive me friends don't run the risk of rejecting God's Grace by cheapening it remember that Jesus died for our sins it was a a cost that God paid the Apostle Paul uh speaks about this in in Romans 6 verses 1 and 2 when he says what shall we say then are we to continue in sin that Grace May abound by no means how can we who died to sin still live in it or in verses 6 and seven of of Romans 6 he says we know that the old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been set free from sin in verse 15 he says what then are we to sin because we're not under law but under grace by no means friends we need to remember that Grace is a gift that God chooses to give it's not cheap it's costly and he paid the cost for our forgiveness it really is astounding we should consider it every time God rescued Israel he's resc resuing a people who have according to the judges been unfaithful in their relationship with him and that's really what Grace is about it's a it's a relational thing if you remember we read back in judges 1: 16 and 17 as the Lord raises up these judges to save his people out of the hand of those who plundered them we're told in verse 17 they didn't listen to their judges they hoarded after other gods and bowed down to them it's a confronting language because it's no small thing they were meant to show the world who God is as he chose them for himself they were meant to show the world the Nations around about them what it means to live in right relationship with God and and this is because God desires a relationship with his creation this is the problem as they wander away instead of Leaning into that relationship with him they look to all the gods of the surrounding Nations and and mess with the ways in which they worship and relate to The God Who made them sadly these cycles of sin that that keep coming back for Israel got them to a point where they were no longer concerned about the seriousness of their sin the problem of their sin they just wanted God to deal with their enemies to help them live a comfortable life that's what it meant when they cried out to him for rescue that's what they thought God was for to rescue them when they got into trouble we need to be careful L we think the same about God can be easy for us when we forget the serious of seriousness of our sin to see God as someone who just helps us with our problems we can think that God is just someone who's meant to give us a comfortable life the story of Judges the story of God's people shows us that he desires our hearts he desires us to be in right relationship to him this is why he's gracious the problem in judges is not that there were armies oppressing them or that their lives were difficult the problem was the way that they were relating to the God who made them the God who loved them and the god who repeatedly showed them his grace let's keep reading in Judges chapter 10 vers uh 15 and 16 the people respond to God's no and they say well we have sinned you do to us whatever seems good to you please deliver us we see repentance they they put away the foreign gods they serve the Lord and God be became impatient over the misery of Israel in verse 16 we catch a glimpse into the heart of God he doesn't have to but he chooses to he didn't Delight in their suffering he loves them his grace is sufficient despite the rejection of him and we'll come back to that in a moment for now have a look in verses 17 to 18 as their enemies threaten them the people start asking who's going to fight for us and then turn over to the beginning of chapter 11 we're introduced to jeepa jeepa was a gileadite a mighty warrior the son of a prostitute gilled was the father of jeepa Gill's wife also bore him sons and when his wife's Sons grew up they drove jeepa out and said to him you shall not have an inheritance in our father's house you're the son of another woman Jeep fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob a worth and worthless fellows collected around jeepa and went out with him after a Time the ammonites made war against Israel and when the ammonites made war against Israel the Elders of galed went to bring Jeff from the land of Tob they said to jeepa come and be our leader that you may fight against the ammonites jeffa said to them didn't you hate me and drive me out of my father's house why have you come to me now when you're in distress the Elders of gilled said to jeepa this is why we've turned to you now that you may go with us and fight the ammonites and be our head over all the inhabitants of galed jeepa said to the elders if I if you bring me home to fight against the ammonites and the Lord gives me them over to me I will be your head the Elders of galed said to jeepa the Lord will be witness between us if we do not do do as you say so jeffa went with the Elders of Gile and the people made him head and leader over them jeffa spoke all his words before the Lord at bispa some observations about jeffa he's an unlikely choice for a judge he just read about his checked past his father was gilled but his mother was a prostitute he's despised and rejected by his family by his brothers he's driven out of the family and out of the town and he settles in in Tob where he's surrounded by worthless fellows we hear this list and perhaps we're thinking imagine the meeting you know when those Elders were there trying to think about who's going to lead them and someone says what about jeepa he can fight he's got an army it's not the normal judge material but it's exactly the person God could use they go to Tob and they seek him out and he comes to lead them they Point him to the position he says his words before the Lord notice at this point he's only the People's Choice at this point we see nothing yet in our text to indicate that God was approving of their plan at least not yet then in verses 12 to 27 we're not going to read today we don't have time to to read that this morning I encourage you to read it during the week in your personal devotions or dig into with your uh extended family groups jeepa goes on this diplomacy tour and he tries diplomacy with the ammonite King and he he sends messages what do you have against us and the the king says you've taken our land and jeepa then gives these three arguments as to why this King needs to get his facts right uh first of all he says well we didn't take the land from you from the amorites we took it from the a from from the ammonites we took it from the amorites check your spelling then he says there's a theological case here God actually gave this land to us and so if if chos the the god of the ammonites was to give you land wouldn't you be right to possess it and finally he asked why now why pick a fight with us now when we moved in here 300 years ago why is it now that you're trying to fight Jeff the says in verse 27 of uh of chapter 11 the king is in the room wrong we're prepared to let God be the judge to decide between us was Jeep's reply the king ignored all of that and I think it's here that we get this glimpse into Jeep's faith in God as he believes that God is the ultimate judge and this probably gives insight into why jeepa would later be included in Hebrews chap 11 alongside that great list of the heroes of our faith it's because jeepa had faith in God as the ultimate judge look at Hebrews 11 32-34 I have it on the screen staying judges there just read Hebrews on the screen what more shall I say say I don't have time to tell about Gideon Barack Sam Samson and jeepa about David and Samuel and the prophets who through faith conquered kingdoms administered Justice and gained what was promised who shut the mouth of lions quenched the fury of the flames and escaped the edge of the sword whose weakness was turned to strength and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies judges 11:29 we see the moment that God approves of jepa faith the moment that tells us that God is going to take an active role in their rescue as we see the spirit is given to jeepa and this is our second lesson this morning that God is a God who redeems Jeep's story is a Redemption story he's an outcast with a checked past he's got worthless friends but yet his faith in God takes him on this crazy rags to Richard's story he goes from zero a nobody to a a hero the leader of the people and he's used by God in an amazing way that should encourage us all this morning you see that God can and does use broken people who put their faith in him to do extraordinary things for his name and for his glory remember we've been we've been seeing along the way that God plus one is always the right way jeepa had faith in the Living God The God Who redeems so what does that mean for us that God redeems well I think it means that our past rejections our past hurts don't have to disqualify us from serving the lord our past history no matter how checkered it may be doesn't disqualify us from being used by God for his glory what matters is not our past but our faith in him Jeff the sounds like he was a wounded person maybe you've been wounded maybe you're hurt rejected maybe like jeepa there's something in your past that makes it easy for you to think that you're broken Beyond repair Beyond God's ability to redeem or heal or use if you've ever been there friend know this morning that the message of the Bible the message of the Gospel is that we're never too far gone in fact we're told that through faith in God we can be made New 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us this if anyone is in Christ he's a new creation the old has passed behold the new has come verse 21 of 2 Corinthians 5 God made him who had no sin to be he sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God what an encouragement to our hearts we need to know this morning that God is a God who redeems his grace is sufficient for all our sin his power is made perfect in our weakness we can put our trust in him sadly we read in the final verses of Judges 11 that jebs jea's faith in the sufficiency of God's grace in his power to keep looking after his people was was actually deeply flawed it's perhaps one of the most tragic things that we might read look at verse 30 of Judges 11 jeepa made a vow to the Lord and said if you give the ammonites into my hand whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet you when I return in peace from the ammonites shall be the Lords and I'll offer it up for burnt offering so jeepa crossed over to the ammonites to fight against them the lord gave them into his hand jeepa makes this tragic and ridiculous vow was completely unnecessary God had already promised Israel that he would give them the land God had already been faithful every single time what we see in this vow is an uncertainty in Jeep's mind mind because he says God if you give the ammonites into my hands we don't know exactly what's going on in his mind maybe he's haunted by his past rejection by the hurt from his family or the the people who' rejected him maybe he's wondering if God's going to reject him as well if he fails to win the victory over these enemies he might end up being an outcast again so jeffa attempts to bargain with God the first thing that comes out of my house will be a sacrifice to God could be an animal could be a person a slave a servant his child or his wife it's a ridiculous vow unnecessary apparently the the Hebrew word for whatever is ambiguous could be an animal or a person either way it's unnecessary victory was assured for jeepa the moment God's spirit Came Upon him we see that that's the case he heads off to fight and he wins the the battle in verse 32 ofap 11 verse 33 we see that God gives them rest if the story of jeepa ended there it would have gone down in history as he would have gone down in history as one of the great judges of Israel but instead he has to face the music he's got to go home and deal with the consequence of this foolish vow that he's made verse 34 of chapter 11 jeffa came to his home at mispar behold his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dancers she was an only child besides her he had neither son nor daughter and as he soon as he saw her he tore his clothes and said alas my daughter you've brought me very low you've become the cause of great trouble to me for I've opened my mouth to the Lord and I cannot take back my vow jeffa sees his daughter and shamefully begins to blame her for causing him trouble as though it was her fault that he was in this position the reality is this was all of his own doing he didn't need to make Dev vour he didn't need to follow through with it God wasn't swayed by the deal that he tried to make God didn't approve of of of this type of sacrifice in fact it was expressly forbidden by God it was one of the many practices of the Nations around them who offered up children in human sacrifice to Bal God had declared that this was evil yet jeepa thought he could bargain with God he thought he could buy God's favor tragedy is it was probably well intended maybe he was looking at the religions around in the the lands that they were taking over there in Canan and in all of these places this was a normal practice you have to bargain you you have to make sacrif sacrifice in order to keep the gods happy if you wanted kids you'd sacrifice to the the god of fertility if you you wanted a good crop of food you'd sacrific to the god of the Harvest it was this Merit system of transactions where you give to the Gods in order to hopefully get back something in return we might think that it's impossible for even a second that jeepa would think that the creator of life would Delight in ending life but yet somehow he gets there likewise for us it is just as ridiculous that we have the whole of Salvation history the whole of the biblical record that shows us that God is a god of Grace who redeems and that it's only by grace that we can be right with him and yet at times we can be T tempted to treat God the way that everyone else in the world treats one another you do good you get back you you do bad you get bad back you do wrong you make amends you sacrifice and make it right that's the way of the world it's the way the religions of the world work yet the god of the Bible the one who created us is so unlike any other and yet we still find ourselves trying to bargain with him and make deals maybe we thought God I need a husband or a wife if you give them to me I'll serve you wherever you send me God I really need a job if you give me this position I'll give back my paycheck to you I I'll I'll sacrifice the first one for you maybe you don't say it out loud you can find yourself thinking like that if you're not careful trying to deal with God like as if we've got something to offer in the transaction like as if we've got something that isn't God's already everything we have is a gift from God to begin with the Bible tells us this every good gift is given to us from God it's all because of his kindness and generosity and so our final lesson this morning is that we can't bargain with God he's not for sale the danger of thinking like jether of losing sight of the fact that Grace is a gift when we do that what it means is all we've got left is to try and bargain it's insecure there's no certainty in that at all just think about it how do you know that you've done enough to earn God's favor when all that we have comes from him how do you have any certainty at all to know when you're in the positive with God if you try and transact at that level how how can we be secure we can't if we try and buy God's favor yet the Bible tells us he wants us to be secure and he offers us that security through Grace forgiveness that is based not in our effort or our merits but on him Israel had the proof didn't they all of their history was Grace we we talked about that earlier the the choosing of Abraham the rescue from Egypt the promised lands even the Book of Judges this repeated cycle that we see where God's grace constantly calls them back despite of who they are and despite how far they've wandered from him they had the proof yet they didn't see it they tried to bargain with God the Apostle Paul in Philippians chapter 3: 4 and 6 he when when he gives his testimony he he he says this he says I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh Also if anyone thinks he's got reason for confidence in the flesh I've got more circumcised on the eighth day of the people of Israel of The Tribe of Benjamin a Hebrew of Hebrews as to the law a Pharisee as to Zeal a persecutor of the church as to righteousness under the law blameless Paul is talking about about his his life before Jesus he was a bargainer before he met Jesus he had this impressive list of bargaining chips and it was how he related to God a Pharisee of Pharisees a a Jew of Jews Born Into the right family at the right time went to the right school with the right teacher he had the right amount of zeal for God he ticked all the boxes and yet we read on that when he meets Jesus when he hears the gospel when he understands God's grace and the fact that God chooses to bless and forgive and show kindness even in spite these offensive attempts to bargain with him Paul's reaction is everything I had before is now rubbish it's a loss compared to what I now have found in Jesus there's a security a hope a a certainty a firm foundation a peace that we can have but it can only be found in Jesus Paul would go on to say in Romans 8:32 he who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all how will he not also with him graciously give us all things the security We crave in terms of knowing god is with us and for us the security that jeepa craved that led him astray that security is found for us in Jesus as we look to the Cross we have this visible sign a a costly display of God's grace for me and for you we see at the cross that there's nothing that God will not give out of love we see it across the lengths that God will go to In Spite of our rebellion in spite of our sin there's this invitation to be loved to be known by God to be secure the problem we see in this cycle of Judges is that they'd lost sight of the grace of God they'd lost sight of this gift they cheapened Grace by presuming on it and because of that they tried to purchase it they tried to bargain with God and this just dragged them down even further to the point where what they were expecting from God get smaller and smaller save us from our enemy God give us a win that's all they wanted they'd lost sight of all that God had called them for the reason why he'd shown them Grace in the first place the big picture of what he was doing in creation friends the big story of the Bible the the story of human history of of creation is that God desires to be with his people the big problem in the Book of Judges is not the enemies they fac but it's the hearts of God's people it's their rejection of him their their willful Rebellion as they get further and further away in their relationship with God as it gets more and more hopeless all they want is comfort and yet God says to Israel and he says to us I want to make you you mine I don't want to make you comfortable I want you to be my treasured possession I want you to know my goodness not as something that I'm going to do in the future but as a daily experience of my presence with you don't miss the grace that God offers to us for all eternity rest is the goal not the temporary rest of non-war but the the peace and the satisfaction and the joy of being face to face with the God who made you the god who loves you the god who's more satisfying than anything you can ever imagine that's the story of Judges we see tragically that Judges chapter 12 which we won't get into today it descend into a bit of a civil war jeepa leads a fight against the ephra another tribe of Israel God's people too this wasn't part of God's word work to clear the land it's not part of what he was doing for Israel soon as that battle's won they enjoy their comfort and we see them move again into apathy and back into outright rebellion and sin they go back into this cycle because they think what's wrong with the situation is just the situation what's out there and an actual fact we know the the problem is in our hearts don't don't miss the grace of God by seeking comfort and cheap Grace remember the cost that he paid to bring us into relationship with him let me pray father help us to recognize that our greatest problem is not our enemies or our immediate needs it's not our lack of comfort or peace but rather our relationship with you the one who made us forgive us Lord for presuming dooming upon your grace and at times cheapening it trying to earn our place or bargaining for your favor thank you for the reminder that you are gracious not because we deserve it but show solely because you choose to be thank you that you've redeemed us so that all who would accept your free gift by faith can know rest not in the temporary sense of the here and now but true rest peace with you our God for all eternity. Amen.