"THE RIGHT PATH."
I. "IN THOSE DAYS."
A. These were dark days in the history of the nation of Israel.
1. It was a nation that lacked direction and leadership.
2. They would go down one path, only to come to a dead end, then they would turn and follow another path until they came to another dead end.
3. They were going, but they were going no where.
4. There are many people today in that same condition. They are on the fast track, racing through life, however they are going no where.
a. Their lives seem to lack direction and purpose.
b. Chuck Girard seemed to capture the scene quite well in his song, Little Pilgrim. Little pilgrim walking down the road of life, I find that in your heart you are just a lonely one, For you see, upon that very road, My search for good and truth had its beginning. You take a little turn to the left, And you see what that path has to offer you, Then you gotta make it back to the main road anyhow, And you have all that lost time to make up for, It's a sad thing to realize that you're all alone. That you're on your own, again. Little pilgrim walking down the road of life, You tried to follow others, who are just like you, I was looking in that same direction, but all I ever found, Were others who were searching just like me, And we didn't find the way, or the answers. To the questions that were buried deep down in our soul, We just found that the ways of man have no answers anyhow. Oh don't you wonder now, what you're trying to do, Oh don't you wonder now, where that path is
taking you. Little pilgrim walking down the road of life, I know that deep down in your heart you are just like me, What you're seeking, is a better way, And you're reaching out for temporary resting places, And you're glad to find a little peace of mind here and there, But it wont last, no, no cause you'll have to move along some day, Till you are resting in the arms of the only one who can help you, Till you give your heart and your soul and your body and your mind and your life to the Lord. And it's a glad thing to realize that you are not alone no more, That you found your way, back home, back home.
B. These were days when people had lost their direction. They were days of confusion.
1. The lines between good and evil had been erased.
2. Those who were living in sin were saying that we need to be tolerant toward people who have chosen to live differently than we.
3. Those who were preaching toleration, were the most intolerant of all, especially against those who had a different opinion than theirs.
a. I look at how Dr. Laura was crucified by the gay community because she dared to condemn alternate lifestyles.
b. The gay community are the ones that are saying that we need to be tolerant, but they don't practice what they preach, for they are the most intolerant of all.
II. "IN THOSE DAYS." THEY ARE DESCRIBED AS DAYS WHEN THERE WAS NO KING IN ISRAEL.
A. God had established the nation as a Theocracy.
1. God was to be their king.
2. But the people had rejected the rule of God over their lives.
3. Thus, rejecting God as their King, there was no king in Israel.
B. They had rejected God's laws as absolutes.
1. The result was religious and moral chaos.
2. Each man became a law to himself.
3. Each man made up his own rules, and the rules could change as the need arose.
C. Much like the world today which has rejected the absolutes of God's laws.
1. Men hate the laws of God so much they have ordered them out of schools and public buildings.
a. What a far cry from David, who said: O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation all the day.
2. No wonder the schools are in such a mess today, no wonder they have to have metal detectors, and armed guards on the public school campuses.
3. As the prophet said, "They have sown the wind, they will reap the whirlwind."
III. "EVERY MAN DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES."
A. We hear people saying "What right to you have to tell me what is right or wrong?
1. I have no right to tell you what is right or wrong, I am telling you what God has said what is right and wrong. The prophet Micah said, "He has shown you O man what is good."
2. I am not trying to tell you how you should live. I am telling you how God says you should live.
B. We are living in a day of moral relativism. Every man is doing that which is right in his own eyes.
1. Look at the consequences in our society.
a. We cannot build prisons fast enough to accommodate all Those who are being sentenced for their criminal activity.
b. More children are being raised in a home with step parents than at any time in history.
c. Thousands of children feel unwanted, unloved, and in the way, more than ever before.
d. It is becoming a rare thing for children to be raised in a home with both of their parents.
e. One in every five teenagers is infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
f. More babies are being born to unwed mothers than at any time ever.
g. Abortions are killing off the next generation.
h. You have to wonder just how long God will allow these things to continue before He steps in and brings His judgment upon America.
i. America, America, God shed His grace on thee, but He is about to pour His wrath on thee.
j. God declared, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."
C. In these final chapters of Judges we are going to read of the horrible and confusing things that were happening in the land because everyone was doing that which was right in their own eyes.
1. Who has set the standards by which you live?
a. Have they been set by Hollywood?
b. Are they set by your college professors?
c. Have you set your own standards?
2. Perhaps of greater concern, who is setting the standards by which your children are living?
a. The rap artists?
b. Parents, I would recommend that you listen to the music that your children are listening to, listen to the things that are being advocated by the popular musical artists today.
c. Do you want Brittany Spears to set the moral standards for your little girl?
3. Are you doing what is right in your own eyes, or are you seeking to do what is right in God's eyes?
a. The Bible tells us that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment. Yes, there is life after death, the Bible speaks much about it.
b. It tells us that one day every man, small and great will stand before God to be judged.
c. What will be the standards for judgment in that day?
d. They will be the standards that God has established, which means that many of you will be in big trouble.
4. The nation of Israel was in a state of moral free fall. There was a lot of confusion for everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes. They had rejected God as their king.
5. I see America today in that same moral free fall. We also have rejected God from reigning over us, and people are doing what is right in their own sight.
6. The prophet Jeremiah just before Israel was destroyed said:
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love [to have it] so: but what will ye do in the end thereof?
a. That is the important question, and people are not considering it. What are you going to do at the end of the path? Where is that path leading you?
b. As Solomon said, there is a path that seems right unto men, but the end of the path is death.
c. Are you sure you are on the right path today?
d. Are you prepared to stand before God and give an account to Him for how you have spent your life?
7. Many people speak of changes that they plan to make in their life, but you have been saying that for years, when are you going to make those changes?
a. Time to face the truth, you cannot change.
b. If you could, you would have done so by now.
8. Here is where the gospel of Jesus Christ comes in, He says, "Turn your life over to Me, and I will make those changes for you. I will set you free from the power of sin, and give you the ability to walk the path of life. Follow Me, for I am the way, the truth and the life and no man can come to the Father but by Me."