Grace Baptist Church Decatur, IL



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Bring Back the Glory

Judges 17-21



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Judges 17:6
6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Judges 21:25
25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

These final chapters begin and end with these bookends making it clear that God's people had moved away from moral absolutes.  There was no absolute truth, no authority...they had lost their moral compass.


In America, we need a moral, spiritual revival or we are doomed.  This is my fear, and it fits well into Bible prophecy. 


Anytime a nation goes down and experiences the judgment of God is happens in this order:  Moral decay in the home, then in the church, and finally in the government.


"As the home goes, so goes the church, and as the church goes, so goes the nation."


Here's 3 things it will take to bring back the glory to the USA before it is too late.


1.     Families with a Foundation.

v. 1-6       This is not the prophet Micah.  He is a spoiled brat.  His mother saved money and he decided to steal it--1100 shekels of silver.  She didn't know whom the thief was, so she pronounced a curse upon him.  He got scared when he heard that and returned it, not out of conviction, but out of fear.  Rather than scolding him, she blessed him.  She was so glad to get the money back.  She said she was dedicating it to the Lord and then she made an idol with it.


Of course, the Bible strictly forbids this sort of idolatry.  This is how spiritually blind they had become in their apostasy.  Far removed from the true worship of God--thinking this was doing God a favor by making an idol to Him.


v. 5  Micah had shelves full of idols...he was steeped in idolatry.  Then he appointed his son to become a priest.  He didn't qualify, and it wasn't God's way.  It is absolute confusion spiritually, and they think they are actually serving God.


So, in this family we have coveting, stealing, cursing, dishonoring of parents, idolatry, and God knows what else.  They are morally bankrupt.  But if you would have gone to them and confronted them about all of this they would say, "That's your opinion, but this is the way we want to do it."  Every man what was right in his own eyes!


This is where America is today.  It's not that we don't have enough religion, we are up to our ears in religion.  But we have left the absolute Bible authority and truth, standards, and morality.  This lack of Bible conviction infiltrates even many families in good Bible churches. 


Parents are losing their kids because we are not the examples we need to be.  We want them to obey but they see us going our own way personally.  Our inconsistencies will be magnified in our kids, just as Micah's mother's issues were magnified in his life.  And what we allow in moderation our kids abuse in excess!


ill.--in a small Missouri town, 2 preacher's boys were playing with a little dog they found, it was black w/ a white tail, they wanted to keep him.  They loved him.  Then they heard about a new family who moved in and how they had lost their dog, which was black w/ a white tail.  Their preacher dad didn't want to have to give up the dog so he painted the white tail black, and when the new neighbors asked about whether this could be their dog he lied and said, no, the tail is the wrong color.  What could they say?  Do you know the son's names?  Frank and Jesse James, 2 of the most notorious criminals of all time.


As parents we don't get what we want, we get what we are.


And I share this because bringing back the glory to America has much  more to do w/ my house and your house than the White House!


We need families w/ a foundation.


2.     We need Preachers with Principles.

v. 7          This was a priest, and he is out of a job.

v. 8-13     He has lots of needs, and crosses paths w/ the ungodly Micah, who says, man, have I got a deal for you!  He knew his son was not a real priest, so he tries to get this priest to move in.  He feels good about being religious.  But religion sends more to hell than sin does!


This priest proves himself to be a hireling, because he agrees and just for the money.


18:4         'hired'?

John 10:11
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

Know how to tell the difference between a true man of God and a hireling?  The hireling is committed only to himself and keeping his salary, not the truths of God's Word.


Am I saying the preacher shouldn't be paid?  Perish the thought!  The Bible says that those that preach the gospel should live of the gospel, matter of fact, they are worthy of double honor.


But the hireling tells people what they want to hear in order to draw a crowd and not offend anyone.  He is not called of God, he simply chose a career.


There is not much wrong w/ the USA that could not be readily fixed w/ more true preachers and fewer hirelings.  We need a generation that God will get a hold of to preach the uncompromised Word of God!  The very topics that are today politically incorrect to talk about are exactly what we need to be talking about.  We need preachers who will say, "It's not an alternate lifestyle, homosexuality is an abomination in the sight of God!"  Call me homophobic or hateful if you will, but I stand on the absolute authority of God's Word!  Which by the way, supports that fact that God loves those sinners.


Our churches are getting so caught up in contemporary worship styles and fads and self help topics we have left off prophetic preaching of the fiery truths of God's Word!  I think sincere America is fed up with coffee shop based churches w/ their interpretive dance, drama skits, and pop psychology from the pulpit.


Hate speech legislation is on its way big time to the USA.  It's already against the law for me to endorse a political candidate, but I can preach moral, Biblical truth and encourage you to seek out where candidates stand on the issues.  It is also becoming increasingly dangerous to even express disappointment about any of our leaders, especially if they are named Barack Obama.  I might have to push the limits on that one in order to preach the truth in good conscience.  And I might have to endure more audits in the future!


Galatians 4:16
16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Ecclesiastes 7:5
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

Americans are flocking to hear the songs of fools that are hirelings, not committed to the Word of God!


My job is not to fill this is to fill this pulpit!


To bring back the glory we need families w/ a foundation and preachers with principles...


3.     We need Government with God.

Hold on.  Hang with me.

17:6 'no king'

I realize God didn't establish Israel as a democracy but as a theocracy, led by God.  And I realize America was not established as a theocracy.  But if you study history and not try to revise it, there is no question about it...our republic was founded on Biblical, Christian principles.  I have heaped up mountains of evidence on this over this series, and it is irrefutable.


And when we take God and Biblical morality out of our nation, it begins to unravel. 


We have lost our foundation.  Every man does what is right in his own eyes.  Politicians don't mind talking about values until you ask them 'whose values' are these values? 


Why do you think the homosexuals say they have the right to get married?  Because every man does what is right in his own eyes.


Judges keep striking down laws of common sense in favor of political correctness which protects pedophiles and pornographers and criminals of all ranks.  We have lost our moral compass!


I like what I'm seeing, however, in Christian America.  I see a mass of believers getting involved in politics, running for office, protesting, and taking their stand.  Don't believe the liberal left that says because we believe in God we should just shut up.  It's because we believe in God that we ought to speak up!


There are sparks, and we need to fan the flames.  Our homes and our churches can affect our government.


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