Good morning. Today, we’re going to continue our study in the book of Judges. In our last session, we read about Gideon. How God called him, and Gideon was very surprised to be called a mighty man of valor and be asked to lead God’s people against the Midianites and Amalekites, but God worked with Gideon — had the wet fleece and the dry fleece, had him go down and listen to the Midianite soldiers who were scared and convinced that Gideon would defeat them. And then of coarse he and only 300 men scared the Midianites and they ran and then a few of the tribes of Israel nearby came and fought and had a great defeat and were very successful. And now we’re going to look at Judges 8 and 9 where things get tougher…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20201227. All rights reserved.
Good morning! We’re going to continue our series today that we started several weeks ago on the books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. And, this particular section of Judges, chapters six through eight, to many people is perhaps the only thing they know know the book of Judges. So, it is a very significant section and it deals with a Judge named Gideon. And the record of Gideon is remarkable in many ways. In some ways its very predictable because it is one of the situations where the children of Israel have walked away from God, so a neighboring country had come in and enslaved the Israelites, until they finally realized they were in a mess, and prayed and asked God for help, and God sent a judge in to to deliver them.
That is pretty typical that you see through entire book of Judges: that sort of roller coaster ride I told you about, that at the top of the roller coaster they’re praying and trusting God, then the Judge dies, they turn away from God and they go back to idolatry and get down to the bottom of the roller coaster. And God has to help them climb back up to the top of the roller coaster. So that is pretty typical, what is unique is the way God called Gideon and the way Gideon responded. Gideon was a fellow that had no leadership background that it talks about, had no background trusting God or walking with God, like you have with someone like Samuel that we’ll get to later on. Yet God called him and Gideon tried hard to do what God told him, but he had a hard time trusting God. So he kept asking God for signs and encouragement. And God kept giving it to him. And, every time God did a little more to encourage Gideon, Gideon would act a little more on God’s word, but then ask for more signs, and more support and then towards the end, without even being asked God is doing things to support Gideon. And in the end, God of course brings great victory to the Israelites through the leadership of Gideon.
But if you read the record of Gideon, and then think about our own lives, what’s obvious is that if you have a heart to love God and serve God, and help His people, God will work with you and He’ll meet you right were you are. It is so common for people to get discouraged when they read about Jesus Christ, or the apostle Paul, or Moses, or any of the other wonderful leaders in the Bible and say: “Gee, I couldn’t possibly be like them.” And, it’s true it would be hard to rise up and be a King David or a Solomon, but when you read Gideon, he’s a little more relatable. Because he’s going through the type of challenges, and doubts and misunderstanding we all go through every day. And if God could work with a Gideon and bring deliverance, I think he can work with you and me. And, obviously we’re different people, in different situations, different countries, different administrations than Gideon was in, yet that there is still that need to know God and trust God and walk with God. And, that just takes time and patience to get there, and God will be there to help us. So, it is a wonderful record and I’m so delighted to be able to share it with you today.
This is a record we’ve all read many times, but let’s just look at it from the particular point of view that here’s a guy that is trying to believe God, but he’s having a hard time, and his asked God to help him and He does. It reminds me of the book of James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men freely and upbraideth not and it shall be given him.” And, it reminds of verses in, I think Philippians where it said: “It’s God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” So, we can ask God for wisdom. We know He is working within us, He’s not possessing us, but He’s working within us to encourage us to walk with Him and trust Him. And then there are wonderful verses in Proverbs were “you trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” He’s going to direct your paths. And then, verses like: I think it is Psalms 37, maybe Psalms 34, where it says that if you turn all your concerns over to God, He’ll hear you. And, there are so many other wonderful ones like that, and they all are sort of exemplified, or become and example to us in the record of Gideon.
So, I know every record in the Bible is wonderful and I know everyone is unique, but here is one I can really relate to, and I think most people can. Because I think most people go through the kind of challenges Gideon did or does. And, the next time that happens to you, where you want to believe God, but you are having a hard time, instead of getting all down on yourself, or getting mad at God for not doing more for you, why not do what Gideon did? And, just ask for help. Now obviously God may just deal with you in a different way than He dealt with Gideon, but He’ll be just as faithful. To supply your needs, direct your paths, give you the desires of your heart, and give you great victory in all that you do. So, with that brief introduction, which wasn’t so brief, let’s go to Judges chapter six…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20201213. All rights reserved.
Well God bless you. In this session, we’re going to continue going through the book of Judges. We finished the book of Joshua, which took the children of Israel out of the wilderness and into where they occupied much of the land of Canaan, but not all of it. And we’ll continue on in chapter three of Judges…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20201129. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Judges 3 – Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar lead Israel
Judges 4 – Deborah leads Israel with Barak and Sisera is defeated
Well, welcome. In our previous sessions we read through several sections in the book from the book of Judges. We know from the book of Exodus that the children of Isreal had a real hard time crossing the wilderness, they didn’t listen to what God said about claiming the promised land, they kept saying they were going to die in the wilderness and God finally got fed up with them and said: “well OK, you think you are going to die in the wilderness, go ahead and die in the wilderness.” So, the adults that came out of Egypt with Moses and crossed the Red Sea, they all died. And it was their children that were very young when they left Egypt or born in the wilderness; they’re the ones that entered into the promise land with Joshua. And in the book of Joshua for the most part the children of Israel walked with God.
There were a few problems like with the situation at AI and a few others, but for the most part, the children of Israel walked with God. And claimed, not all, very but much of the land that God had promised to them. And as long as Joshua was there and those that had served with Joshua were alive, they continued to walk with God. And at the end of the book of Joshua, it said that not one word failed of anything that God had promised the Israelites; all claim to pass.
Then we’re about to start into the book of Judges. So again, the book of Exodus the children of don’t do well, in the book of Joshua, the children of Israel do real well for the most part. Now the book of Judges is a bit of a roller coaster. In one chapter, they’re really walking with God as there is a judge, which is the term used for a leader that God would put His spirit on and raise up to lead the children of Israel.
So, in one chapter you have a judge leading them and they would listen and they would push out the neighboring countries who would try to enslave them, they were very safe and prosperous. Then the Judge would die and they would tend to go back into idolatry and follow the gods of the people in Canaan that they hadn’t chased out yet. These are the ones that God said would be thorns in their side because they would tempt them to worship false gods. And then things would get so bad that the children of Israel would cry unto the Lord for help and He would raise up another judge, a fellow or in some case a woman, that would have the spirit of God on them to lead them out of the bondage they were in.
So, it was a real up and down. Again, we probably won’t read all the book of Judges, but we’ll read portions of it to give you an idea of what happens. So, let’s start here in Judges chapter one…
As taught by Bruce Mahone on 20201115. All rights reserved.
Good morning. We’re going to continue our series with the book of Joshua. Several sessions ago we read Joshua one and two, where there were instructions for entering the promised land and the spies who went into seek out the land met Rehab who they made an agreement with that she would protect them and they would protect her. Then in Joshua three and four the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry land and set up stones of memorial to remind themselves in future generations of what God had done. Then in Joshua five and six all those who been born in the wilderness were circumcised and they ate the fruit of the land and an angel appeared to Joshua and said take off your shoes because you’re standing on holy ground. Then the children of Israel circled Jericho for seven days and the walls came tumbling down and they take the city.
Then in Joshua seven and eight we learn about how as they were a group, if one person in the group sinned it could affect the whole group. The one fella took some stuff that was dedicated to the Lord and buried it in his tent and the Israelites were defeated at the city of AI. Then they asked God what was going on, and they got that straightened out, and they went back and had a great victory at AI.
And throughout the rest of the book of Joshua, because we’re going to skip to the last two chapters, through the intervening chapters they going in a fight with many groups to reclaim the land. And their two reasons they had to fight with them: one, this was land God had given to Abraham and his descendants many generations before they were simply taking back what was theirs, and the other reason was God said that if they left those other nations they would be thorns in their sides and pricks in their eyes because they would tempt them to go off after other gods. So, God’s solution at that time was just get rid of all the people that could possibly drag you off after other gods.
Because we know from the history of the Israelites, they had a bad habit of getting excited about other gods being worshiped in forsaking the true God. And just look at the golden calf in the wilderness what was when Moses was up on the mountain for what a few weeks? Maybe 30 or 40 days, at the most; just a few weeks and they turned away from the true God and had a golden calf, and they worshipped a golden calf. Even though God taken them out of Egypt, safely protected them from the Egyptian army in so many ways, with parting the Red Sea, and hiding the cloud, and doing everything to take care of them including finding them food in the wilderness, water in the wilderness. Still the minute they had a chance they just turned away from the true God, so that was unfortunately the bad behavior of the children of Israel.
So, because of that God wanted them to get rid of the other nations and claim the land of Canaan for their own without the other nations there. Of course, they didn’t get rid of all of them but they got rid of many of them, so that the children of Israel lived alone more of themselves. And the Old Testament law talks about staying away from people that are the believers in the true God of Israel.
And you see this in the first century church where the first group of Christians were all Judeans and they wanted to stay there in Judea and they basically wanted to follow a lot of the Old Testament law because is that’s all they knew. Today, we would call him perhaps Jews for Jesus or messianic Jews; groups that consider themselves Christians but want to continue to follow the Old Testament law.
And that continued until God sent Peter to the household of Cornelius, a Gentile, to speak God’s word and Peter did want to go. He said “I’ve never eaten anything that’s foul and unclean, and I don’t want to go do that.” But God said “what I have basically cleansed don’t call you unclean,” and so Peter went and as he was speaking the word of God the Holy Spirit came upon the whole crowd and they all spoke in tongues. And that was the first step towards the Gentiles being included, in other words where they were stepping out — and this is so different than the Old Testament records were God told him to get rid of the unbelievers, now all the sudden the people that it been considered unbelievers are becoming believers. And Peter didn’t quite have the vision to be able reach out to all the Gentiles, so God called Paul.
And Paul, unlike Peter, had grown up in a Gentile city, a city called Tarsus in what’s now southern Turkey. So, he spoke the language of the Gentiles which was Greek, because the Judeans spoke Aramaic and read the Scriptures and Hebrew. But Paul could do that: he can speak Aramaic, he could read the Scriptures in Hebrew, and he also could speak Greek. And he understood the culture of the Gentiles. He lived around them, and God gave him the job of reaching out to the Gentiles all around the Mediterranean.
So, you see how different this is. In the Old Testament records here in Joshua, God said chase out the unbelievers because they’ll be a thorn in your side and drag you out after other gods. Then you get to the book of acts in the church epistles, and God says go out among the Gentiles. Go to them. So, Paul went to Ephesus where they worshiped, and to the Ephesians, and he went to Athens where they had many, many gods. And he went to Corinth, and then he went to Philippi which is where Alexander the great was from. He went all over the Mediterranean, especially the eastern Mediterranean, speaking God’s word.
So, in the book of Joshua, the word of the lord was: ‘stay away from those unbelievers.’ In the book of Acts, the word of the Lord is: ‘get right in the middle of the unbelievers and tell them about Jesus Christ.’
So, the reason I point this out is just that administrations are so different and if we take what’s in the Old Testament and try to apply it to ourselves today, we’ll be like some of those groups of want to go hide in the mountains in a cave because their scared of the unbelievers. We don’t want to let the unbelievers influence us to turn away from the true God, but neither do we want to be scared of them. As it says in the epistles: ‘become all things to all men.’ Whatever group we’re talking to, we can act, dress, eat drink, just like they did. But the point is to bring them the gospel, not to have them drag us away from the gospel.
So, that’s the things that happened and there are other chapters in the middle the book of Joshua where they going to great detail about which tribe gets which parcel of land, and which leader will lead each group and each tribe, and when they go to battle, which tribe is can I go first. So, it’s on and on, but then you get to the end of the book of Joshua and there some summary here, which is what I do want to read to you. Go to Joshua chapter 23…
As taught by Bruce Mahone 20201101. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Joshua 23 – Summary of God’s deliverance in the promised land
Joshua 24 – Reminder to put away false gods and serve the true God
Good morning. We’ll continue the series we started several sessions ago on the book of Joshua. I mentioned in a previous session that we would see how Israel is treated as a nation and many times if one person or a small group within Israel sins and walks against God, the whole group takes the brunt of it. Which is so different than today, where in the age of grace and each one of us that is born again, and at least as far as God is concerned it is the individual that believes God. Now obviously, any individual in any country can do something that effects everybody, but as far as God is concerned we’re the body of Christ. That has nothing to do with governments.
You know there are those who want to say that America must be a Christian land and America is different than other countries and that is OK to have those opinions about our history and about our politics, but don’t blame it on God. Because God will answer the prayers of anybody. They could be in a country that is 99% non-Christian, and that 1% that is Christian, God will bless them if they believe God. And if you happen to be in a country that is 80 or 90% Christian, God will bless you. But not because of the country like it was with Israel, it is because of the individuals in the body of Christ who choose to trust Christ; trust God through His son Jesus Christ. So, at any rate is is a big difference and much of the talk you hear in the modern Christian world, especially here in the United States is frankly based on old testament records, where the whole country was either believing God or they weren’t.
Just one example: when the children of Israel first left Egypt and they sent twelve spies into the promised land, to check it out, the land of Canaan, ten of them came back and said the Anakim are too scary, we should not go in. And the whole group believed those ten guys, and God got fed up and said: ‘OK, you guys are just going to stay in the wilderness until you die.’ So, that whole group turned their back on God, so God had to turn His back on them. But then that group died, and their children led by Joshua after Moses died, followed the word of the Lord very well. And they crossed the Jordan on dry ground and as we read last time, they Marched around Jericho for seven days and then the walls came a tumbling down. And they went in and claimed the city. So, its much more a matter of what does the group as a whole do. Individuals obviously affect that. But, for the most part it is as individuals as a whole do things. So, let’s got to Joshua 7…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20201018. All rights reserved.
Good morning. We’re going to continue the series we started a few sessions ago, looking at the book of Joshua, and following on to Judges and Ruth eventually. Last week we got through Joshua chapter four, where they actually crossed the Jordan and setup a monument of twelve stones to remind themselves that God had brought them safely across the river on dry ground. Now we’ll pickup at chapter five…
As taught by Bruce Mahone on 20201004. Copyright, all rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Joshua 5 Circumcision, eating the fruit of the land, holy ground
Joshua 6 Circling Jericho for seven days, the walls came tumbling down
Good morning! We’re going to continue our theme that we started last time, looking at the books of Joshua, Judges and Ruth. I’m not sure at this point whether we’ll read them entirely or just highlights, but last time we read Joshua one and two. Talking about when Moses died and God telling them to pick up and get ready to cross the Jordan and all the people said: “Joshua, we’re with you, 100%.” And they got ready and they got all packed up and organized and now in Joshua chapter three, we’ll see them actually cross the Jordan and in Joshua four, we’ll she them make preparations on how they are going to settle in and how they are going to remember that great day when God brought them deliverance. So, let’s start in Joshua chapter three…
As taught by Bruce Mahone 20200920. All rights reserved.
Good morning! Delighted to be here with you again, on the phone. Today we’re going to take a little different approach in our teachings than we’ve had in the last many months. In the last few months, we’ve looked at patience and perseverance and prayer and trusting God and where we’ve looked at sorts of doctrinal teachings where we look at verses on the same topic throughout the Bible. And, I think we’ve learned a lot and today we’re going to obviously look at similar because they are throughout the Bible, but we’re going to do what is called a textual teaching where you pick a text, a section of scripture and stick with it. In this case we’re going to start focusing on the three books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. As you know, they come after the original five books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, which takes us all the way from Adam and Eve, all the way to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to where the children of Israel under Joseph end up being in Egypt and wind up going into slavery. To where God, through many miracles, gets them out Egypt and into the wilderness and God would have gotten them across the Jordan river into the land of Canaan, called the promised land, now called the country of Israel. He would have done that very early in that 40 years journey across the desert, probably within a few months, definitely within a year, but the children of Israel were too scared to cross the Jordan.
They sent spies over, twelve of them, one from each tribe. Two of them, Joshua and Celeb, said: “hey, there are a lot of guys there and they’re pretty big, but God will give us the victory, but let go in.” But the other ten were all scared, those others said: “those guys are much bigger and tougher than us and they’ll destroy us if we go in.” So, the children of Israel decided they were all too scared to go in God said: “Phooey, you think you’re going to die in the wilderness, go ahead and die in the wilderness.” So, they spent forty-years wandering around what we now think of the Sinai Peninsula and some adjacent areas. They spent forty-years wandering around until all the adults that had left Egypt died. So, the group that we’re left with at the beginning of the book of Joshua are either people that were very young children when they left Egypt or people that had been born during the forty-years in the wilderness. And this group is who we’ll see when we read through Joshua 1…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20200907. All right reserved.
Good morning! Today we’re going to touch on a topic we hit from time to time, but from a little different point of view. We’ve had a variety of teachings this year on patience and perseverance and waiting on the lord. And we’re going to review some of those verses, but we’re going to have an emphasis on patience with joyfulness. That is a great thing. Some people can do that, other people just get too jumpy and nervous. I think about my dog here, every dog is a little different and every way you take care of a dog is a little different. I have a dog that can run around the yard like you guys have in Falmouth. But I do take him on a walk most days. And when I mention walk, he gets very excited and I have to put his harness on. And then I have to often run around and get three other things because I like to listen to audio books and things like that when I’m walking. So, I have to get my ear-buds in and I got to get all organized. But he’s pretty patient about it, because he knows he gets to go on a walk and he knows it takes me a while to get ready. So, he just sort of sits there patiently looking at me, until I snap on his leash and take him out the door. And there are some things in life where I’m like that where I can very easily look forward to our fellowship times.
There are other things sometimes I get a little jumpy because I don’t want to wait. It has been said that there are three aspects to any event in your life: there is the anticipation, the realization, and the recollection. So, you look forward to something happening, and it happens. And, sometimes it happens better than you plan and sometimes it happens worse than you plan. And then there is the recollection, you get to look back and remember what happened. And all three are important for any event in our lives. And I was actually talking to somebody the other day, who was planning some kind of thing to do and were just very happy to have something to look forward to. That was the words I heard about it and it good to have that, it is good if you are working, you look forward to five o’clock when you quit working. Or, if you planned a vacation or a trip like Mary-Rose is on, I’m sure she had great anticipation about seeing the grand kids, about seeing Peter, and see her mother and her sister and that is wonderful. It is wonderful to have that anticipation to look forward to. And the more we can do that with patience when we are praying to God the better off we are. And it is great to do it with joyfulness.
There is the old saying that God is never late, but often He’s not very early. So, we just have to joyfully pray, joyfully look to God, and joyfully expect Him to bless us and provide for us. And the more we can do that with joy the better off we are. I can remember times, even going to back when I was in Connecticut in college, running all over the state teaching in a bunch of Fellowships. Looking back, and day to day it doesn’t seem like much has happened, but six-months later to you look back and realize you actually accomplished quite a bit. And I remember thinking: that was great. I’m happy that this six months was as worth while as it was , I just wish I hadn’t been so nervous about so many things. Because being nervous about several things I was working on really didn’t help. And I lost out on some of that joy of life by being nervous about stuff.
So, a better way to live is to pray and ask God for His help and being very patient about waiting to see those answers to prayer. And be very joyful that you know God is going to take care of you. Again, we do it if we have a wonderful event in life we’re looking forward to, we have to be patient because maybe it won’t happen for two weeks, or two days, or a month, or however long it is for that event happens. But if we can be joyful in the waiting and patient, then we enjoy the anticipation of waiting for it instead of waiting two weeks being grumpy because you have to wait two weeks.
So, the same thing with praying to God, we pray and we expect His blessing and we’re very joyful because we know God is going to come through, so there is nothing really to worry about. OK, let’s get into some of these verses. Again, some of these are very familiar, but it won’t hurt us to read them again and they will, and again we’re going to focus on the joyful aspect of it, Psalm 37 in verse 7…
As taught by Bruce Mahone 20200823. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Psalms 37:7 Rest in the Lord [be still, silent before the Lord]; Wait patiently for him
Psalms 40:1 I waited (with expectation) [patiently and expectantly] and he heard
Ecclesiastes 7:8-10 Better is the patient than the proud in spirit (disposition). [patience is better than pride]
Luke 8:15 Fruit with patience (steadfast perseverance) [by persevering]
(Luke 21:5-19 In your patience possess ye your souls)
Romans 5:2-5 Patience leads to [brings about, produces] hope, which maketh not ashamed
Romans 12:10-14 Patient in mental pressure [continuing steadfast, faithful, persevering in prayer]
Romans 15:1-6 Patience and comfort of the scriptures [through patient endurance and the encouragement drawn from the scriptures]; the God of patience.
2 Corinthians 6:1-10 In MUCH patience
2 Corinthians 12:11-13 In ALL patience
Colossians 1:9-11 Strengthened unto all patience with joyfulness
1 Thessalonians 1:3 Patience of (proceeding from) hope
1 Thessolonians 5:14-15 Be patient toward all
2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 We glory for your patience and believing
2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 The Lord direct into patient waiting for [patience of] Christ
Hebrews 12:1 Let us run with patience [patient endurance] the race before us