A post following the last few chapters in Judges
You can hear the sermon Here.
This text tells two very related stories. A woman is terribly abused and in a passion for justice the people of God get into a devastating civil war where other great atrocities are committed. There is a lot going on here and it is an opportunity to discuss a number of things about the human condition and advent.
Regarding the story in chapter 19, everyone should be encouraged to know that just because this vile event is recorded in the Bible, it does not mean that in any way God approves or even turns a blind eye to the abuse suffered by this woman. Hearing the horror of this story is a part of what God wants for us from his word (otherwise he wouldn’t have preserved it for generations). This is an opportunity for God to do work in all of our lives. This a time for all of us to ask how are we guilty of de-valuing others? What do we need to repent of in this regard? How does our culture tend to devalue people? How can we as a church seek to correct this wrong?
Some other questions may come up from this story. We believe there is freedom in telling our stories. Freedom from shame and guilt, freedom from oppression. These may take on a form that is difficult in a Kgroup, but if these are some of the things this story causes you to struggle with, I strongly encourage you to come to me, a trusted friend, a counselor, someone that can help you to understand your story and find freedom. A great resource for this would be the books To be Told or Healing The Wounded Heart both by Dan Allender.
For Kgroups wanting to discuss this sermon, here are some questions you can use to explore this topic further. I encourage you to know and to remember that above all, Grace should be found among us all.
1) what are some ways our culture de-values people made in God’s image? How does the church too, wrestle with this?
2) Why do you think the people in these three chapters tend to overdo their rush toward justice?
3) In what ways do we also go too far in pursuing “justice”?
4) We talked about the two ways we try to “fix ourselves” one was to sweep things under the rug, the other was to seek power. In what ways are we guilty of this? How can Jesus set us free from these two temptations?
5) In what ways does advent answer this problem? Come up with one thing you can do as a family or a group that will help you this advent to be set free from these struggles.