Time of the Judges - Part 5 | John Ankerberg Show

Time of the Judges – Part 5

By: The John Ankerberg Show
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By: Dr. Michael Easley; ©2005
Dr. Easley answers audience questions about the time of the Judges in Israel.

Time of the Judges – Part 5

This message was recorded at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina. Through the ministry of The Cove we’re training people in God’s Word to win others to Christ. It’s our goal to develop Christians who experience God through knowing Him better, knowing His Word, building godly relationships and helping others know Him. We trust that this message will strengthen your walk with God and help you experience Him right where you are.

 

Question: In verse 27 when it says “And Gideon made it into an ephod.” Would you remind us what an ephod is?
Dr. Michael Easley: Great question. A linen covering. Think of a long T-shirt with probably no sleeves. And the ephod was used for the Levitical priests. They had a white ephod. The high priest had a special ephod, remember, with the breastplate, and the breastplate had the stones with the 12 tribes of Israel. And inside it, Jeremy and I were talking about the Urim and Thummim, the dice basically, that the high priest had. But that was a priestly statement. So when David wore an ephod, you know, he’s playing the role of a priest, and so that was a reserved garment for the priest. Did any of you grow up in a Catholic or Episcopalian background? I was an altar boy and we had vestments and that’s all a carryover from the ephod and the linen garments, so yeah. So he makes it into some form of priestly device and they’re worshiping it.
Question: So when He talks about playing the harlot with it, that’s what it means?
Easley: The phrase “harlotry” is twofold. Obviously the sexual connotation, but playing the harlot means they’ve turned something into an idol. And so the Canaanite idolatrous worship would be not only the immoral aspect, but they’re worshiping this other idol instead of worshiping Yahweh Elohim, which is why God didn’t want them to make figures of Him because they would play the harlot with the imagery. So they turned this purple robe from the prior king into the “my boy the king,” and he’s made himself out to be a king and they turn it into a victory. If, you know, if you go into the spoils of a country and you get the king’s crown and bring the crown home and you, “Look what we did, look what we did,” the spoils, so they’ve played the harlot with it.
Question: Thank you.
Easley: Great question. Yeah. I should have explained that.
Question: The question I have is Gideon seems to need proof for things, the fleece. Yet, when the dream and the interpretation comes to him, oh, he gladly accepts it. It’s a little confusing to me.
Easley: He’s a flawed character and a good question. He’s a flawed character as all of us are. As I say it, we are all consistently inconsistent in our faith. Right, we’re all consistently inconsistent. Because I can tell you something about your life, if you’d trust God and it’ll be all fine and hunkie dory. And you say, “Michael, just learn to live with chronic pain.” Well, you don’t walk in my shoes. So we’re all consistently inconsistent. And I think Gideon is a very good godly pious Jewish man who’s got a little bit of a moxie. He’s beating grain and he’s taken on the angel of the Lord, talking about “Where are the miracles? Where are the signs? Where are the wonders?” And when those other victories occurred, when the fleece occurred, when he finally hears the interpretation of that dream I think it’s you know, it hits him, okay God, okay, you’ve given me signs. You’ve given me proof. And even the enemy has a dream that’s unbelievably detailed and I think it caught up with him. Okay, I’ll worship You now. And we’ve had these experiences, haven’t we? You go through something and something it all finally collates and you go, okay Lord, You’re God, I’m not. But he’s a flawed character. He’s a sinful person and so pride gets the best of him. We have to have a microphone.
Question: This is a very shallow question, but where do you get your pronunciations for these names in the Bible?
Easley: Dr. Stanley Toussaint had a tip. He would say “When you get to a word in the Bible you don’t understand, you know, you read it.” He says “Hard name begat hard name and that hard name followed that and hard name had four children named hard name and hard name and hard name.” If you don’t know, you boldly pretend you do. Well, most of the time I have tried to look it up and pronounce it and there are pronunciation guides actually that I have used over the years. But you know, when you study a little bit you start to learn them. And people debate some of the pronunciations.
Question: I have an old, old, old King James Bible.
Easley: It has the markings, yeah.
Question: It has the markings and everything, and some of the things are different from what you’ve been using, and I just wanted to know whether,…
Easley: I’m sure that I’m wrong. I’m sure that I’m wrong.
Question: I like the way you were sounding better.
Easley: Sometimes the Hebrew word like Masada, that’s the Hebrew word, but we gloss it, Masada, so you know, because I use a little Hebrew I might default on the Hebrew wording, because I can pronounce and read that punctuation. And the accent marks in the American English language have changed a lot from the King’s English from where they are today, that even today they’d be different if we put in, and frankly, no one could use those except probably three in this room. They wouldn’t know how to use the different accents and hyphens and whatnot, but we’ve all gone to oral hearing. But that’s a good question. Not shallow at all. Going to get your workout, Prof. Imagine having him for a chemistry and physics professor. Wouldn’t that be fun?
Question: I don’t have so much a question, I’d like your input on what you would say about this statement here in verse 12 of chapter 6 on how “The angel of the Lord appeared unto him and said unto him,” this is the Lord’s making a comment about him, “The Lord was with Thee, Thou mighty man of valor.” You know it reminds me that of the Scripture that says “God has caused things that are not as though they were.” Would this be a good encouragement for us to say I want to see what God says about me versus what I think about me?
Easley: That’s a great question. And there actually is a little bit of this a lot of discussion of what that means, because we don’t have a reference for Gideon being a warrior of any kind. He self-acknowledges of Manasseh, the lowly tribe, the youngest of. He’s not a fighter in the sense that, you know, you might look at David’s 30 men, his mighty men, an army, which we don’t have at this time. So it is the idea is He projecting what He’s going to do with him, on him, “O valiant warrior.” The other possibility is that He’s speaking to his fiber, you know the character of him, because he is kind of a fighter. He’s out there gleaning wheat. And he’s beating it on the wine press, and then when the angel shows up he sort of contends with him a little bit. And then he gets the name, you know, Jerubbaal, the one who contended with Baal. So maybe we could say it’s like a blessing of a sense: “This is how I’m going to use you. I’m going to use you as a valiant warrior.” But that’s a very perceptive question and that’s probably the best three I can give you. But my sense is He’s telling him how He’s going to use him. And again, we see the “least of” being used in a powerful way.
Question: Again, I don’t have a question but, I saw it, as I was reading this again today, was it seemed like the Lord was trying to build up his confidence in Him because he had said he was, because he was oppressed. Pretty much he must have been called a lowlife. They were the lowest of the tribes, and so on and so forth. So that’s an oppression. So I had seen that as maybe the Lord was trying to build up his confidence in Him so that he would be contending for the Lord so much.
Easley: Yeah, and then again, I agree. I think it’s somewhere what I’m trying to say, the second opinion, is that he’s how I’m going to use you. “I’m going to use you this way, O valiant warrior, but remember, the key is I’m with you. I will be with you.” “Well, if You’re with us, where are the signs?” “I’ll be with you,” and so that contending, we see him a little bit boxing with the angel of the Lord. “Where are the signs? Where is the proof? Where is God?” “Well, I’m going to use you. I’ll be with you.” Can we say it today? Sure, sure. Yes.
Question: You had even made that comment yourself.
Easley: Yes.
Question: And a verse that the Lord has impressed upon me over the last two to three years is in Jude 3 where it says, “Contend for the faith.” Are we going to stand resolute for the truth of God?
Easley: And I agree. Be gentle and firm and smile and speak the truth. Yeah, be gentle and firm and smile and speak the truth. And don’t reduce yourself to being angry and yelling and screaming like some of our Christian brothers do.
Question: I could probably ask you this later, but I figured maybe somebody else would want to know. When Gideon’s name ends up being changed, do people start calling him Jerubbaal? In my Bible there’s two or three times there is in parenthesis is says that is Gideon. Is that, was that also in the original text or did someone write it in there?
Easley: No, it’s, well, is it in italics?
Question: It’s in italics.
Easley: Yeah.
Question: Well, yeah.
Easley: Where are you? What verse?
Question: Like if you just go to verse 7, just the very first verse. My Bible says,…
Easley: 6:7 or 7:7?
Question: 7:1.
Easley: Yeah, now the parenthesis weren’t there. Obviously, a little primer about Hebrew. Hebrew is a character language. It’s built on three letters called trilateral—not the commission—but you have three consonants. There are no vowels in Hebrew. So the word hesid, hesid—God’s lovingkindness, roughly transliterated,…
You know, transliterated versus translated, okay, translated is,… I tell you the word Masada, translation, stronghold. Transliterated, Masuda, Masada. Baptism is an English word. There’s no equivalent word in baptism. Baptism was taken from the Greek word baptize, and letter for letter transliterated into English. It’s called a lone word. English is full of them. We take words that don’t belong in our language and we transliterate them. Make sense? So we didn’t translate “baptize” go underwater, we took baptize and made it baptism. Does that make sense? You’re looking at me like I’m crazy. You got it? So one’s transliterated, one’s translated.
Alright, when we have the Hebrew text, some of the word choice in there is hard for the English reader, and so our translators will gloss it or make it easier for us to read. The New American Standard, the Bible I prefer, is the most wooden and literal and they will always put words in italics that aren’t in the original when the parenthesis or any punctuation occurs that’s a translator’s determination. It’s not in the Bible because there’s just these three letters. Think of “go-went-gone.” Where does “went” come from? “Go-goed-gone” would be normal, right. But you don’t even think twice about that. Hebrew’s worse. It’s worse. So the art of the translations committees that put these together, they try to make it in such a way the English mind can grab it. So parenthesis and commas and even the verses are not there in the original texts. So, but if you have an italic that is what is called a suppletion. That’s not in the Bible. It’s put there to smooth the reading for the English reader. You’ll only find that in some of the like the New American Standard. Other Bibles have glossed it. So long answer to your question, yes, that is in there. It would not have a comma or a parenthesis, but for the English brain.
Question: That actually was the first part of my question. The second part is, is there, that just stuck out to me two or three times because it’s almost like the writer was saying, this guy who tore down Baal, it’s just Gideon, it’s just Gideon. Remember it’s just Gideon, because in the end it’s actually his name that gets him in trouble because he’s the one who tore down Baal and now they’re worshiping Baal. It just made me, my question to you is, do you think there’s like a subtext going on that’s saying you know, Gideon then became known by what he did and eventually culture changed and that’s what got him in trouble?
Easley: A great question. I don’t have a good answer for you. I think of, you know, Peter becomes Cephas, Saul becomes Paul, the names we used interchangeably at times for different reasons. But I think you make a very good observation. It could be a bit of a sting of a reminder, “Your name really isn’t Jerubbaal. Your name’s Gideon.” But yeah, I don’t know. Good question.
Question: I know through adversity, you know, we’re supposed to be content and, you know, follow the Lord; and through prayer and.… But sometimes that gets so frustrating when you don’t see any changes right away. And I know it’s in God’s time, but in the future, like all this that’s happening politically and the election and all that, how, and I know through prayer and everything we’re supposed to stay encouraged, but sometimes it gets so fearful. And, you know, I just wonder what more encouragement, you know, can we look forward to?
Easley: You know, God has wired the body of Christ in unique ways. Someone mentioned Joni Eareckson Tada. And I did some programs with John Ankerberg on living with chronic pain and suffering, and I was teasing Joni when we were filming. I said, I’m taking my shoes off when I’m around Joni Eareckson Tada. You know, who am I to whine and complain? She’s been 45 years in a wheelchair and she now has chronic pain in her spine. Her spine is shattering vertically. It’s fissuring vertically. She had a double radical mastectomy two years ago and now, even as a woman who’s paralyzed, a quadriplegic, she has such deep chronic pain and her nerves are still firing in her spine.
It’s like, Lord, I mean, give the woman a break. You know, I can at least get up and function. She talks about, she has a word for it, getting ready in the morning, getting ready for bed takes two women two hours to get her ready for bed, two women, two hours to get her up out of bed every morning. So I’m telling Ankerberg, why do you got me on here? You know, just talk to Joni. You don’t need me on here.
And Joni and I and other people that deal with pain, Jeremy and I have talked about this. I think the body of Christ is multifaceted. And I’m a complainer and whiner inside. Internally, I mean, I do; I whine a lot; I complain a lot about politics, about the world, about my life, about my children. Not about my wife; I thank God for her. But that’s my spiritual journey and I hope to grow. I hope to be a joyful person. I don’t put on a happy face. I just, I’m not that guy. I pray often, “Give me Your joy, not manmade joy.” And can’t we all smell it. When somebody, “h, praise Jesus, praise Jesus!” You want to just punch them sometimes, you know. I’m sorry, that’s the sinful part of me.
And then I have a friend who has MS, and she has taught me a tremendous amount dealing with pain. She is losing more and more of her abilities and she gave me the illustration of three things in a dark tunnel: me, God and pain. And no one can help her. No one can, physical touch, light, noise, sends her through the roof. She’ll be what she calls an episode where she’ll be bedridden for a month or two or three. I think three is the longest. And they’ll hire two college girls to carry her into the restroom and help her, and she’s in excruciating pain.
She never complains, never complains. Her husband says, “Michael, she never complains.” I said, “Barbara, how do you do this?” And she creases a smile with eyes closed, and she goes there’s three things in a dark tunnel, me, God and pain. I hate being here, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
I’m not there. I am not there. I wish I was. And I don’t think it’s because I’m; well, it probably is because I’m a worse sinner than her. It probably is, but I don’t think that’s the way God deals with us. And I think because the body is different there are those of us who limp in life.
And I think for me, I get up. That’s what I do. I get out of bed. I wake up in the morning and I go, okay, you got to get up. You’ve got shower, you’ve got to shave part of your face, you’ve got to put some clothes on. You’ve got to go to work. You’ve got to minister. You’ve got do your job. You’ve got to study and read and go to meetings. And I’m, “Okay Lord, here I am, I’m all in. I’m in the Word. I’m doing it. I hate pain, but I’m going to keep doing it.” I don’t know.
So there are those who encourage me. Betty encourages me like crazy. She doesn’t complain. She’s been through all sorts of trials and tribulations. The woman I mentioned last night, 93 year old Norma, she blows my socks off. It’s not a very good answer, but it’s the best I could give. The body of Christ if multifaceted and some of us are crumudgedy and cynical like me, and some are godly like Betty and Norma.
Question: This is not about Judges, but how do you explain, or do you explain, or can it be explained, why there’s no mention of the North American continent in Revelation?
Easley: I can’t explain it. You know, from a table of nations in Genesis 10 when we have what I believe are the beginning of the racial breaks, I think the flood occurs. I believe in a vapor canopy theory, the water’s above and below. Some of you may not, but I believe the collapse of the vapor canopy theory and the floodgates open up so we can put South America up to North America. We had one land mass at some point. We had a perfect greenhouse environment. That’s why Adam could live 930 years. So, post fall, post flood, the tectonic plates shift, we have the earth as we know it. We’re in a fallen culture. People migrate, they move. The Polynesian people groups, it’s a made up name. Palestinians, a made up name. Americans, a made up name. We make up names for ourselves. So we are, in theological terms we are of the “goyim.” We’re the nations of the world. We are not true Israel. But Abram came to be a blessing for the world. And John tells me God so loves the world, the whole world. The cosmos hates God. God loves the people of the cosmos is what John tells us. So we may not be here. David Jeremiah and Erwin Lutzer would probably very specific answers for that question, but I don’t.
Question: The Bible says that in the end times that men’s hearts will fail them for fear. Do you believe that that’s really a blessing for us to know, because in the Bible God says, “Fear not” 365 times? And just, you know, gives a warning and says, don’t worry, things are going to change in a serious way, and those that might not be strong in their faith don’t go that way.
Easley: Yes, and yes. I think if we just take the root fear, raah in the Old Testament, I think it’s a lot more. It is the most frequent command in all the Bible, “Do not be afraid,” which is a telling commentary.
Question: Do you think that’s a good thing for us to know?
Easley: I think it’s two-edged. I think it is, you know when people talk about fear I always say every time an angel appeared people did one of two things: They either tried to worship them or they fell on their faces. They were terrified. And when we see the celestial and the holy we’re going to have one of two responses; we’ll try to worship it or we’ll fall down in fear. I think fear is a human response to that which we cannot control, exposure, shame, a lot of things, our sinfulness. When, I often joke about… the reason eternity must be eternity for the kingdom of God is because when we’re in heaven and we see Christ, the things of the world grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. The first time I see Jesus I’m convinced I’m going to be on my face. And I think He’s going to pick me up. And I’m going to fall right back down. And that’s why it’s going to be eternity, because Jesus is going to be picking us all us, because every time we see Him we’re going to fall on our face and worship Him. We’ve got a little more here for you to do than just fall on your faces pejoratively. But if we understood what it will be like, I think we’d fear less.
Question: So this is a good time for us to as we perceive that there’s becoming a defining line, black and white, it’s no longer a gray world. When the Word says be anxious for nothing, there’s a lot of anxiety right now.
Easley: Yeah, it’s a tension. We’re all inconsistently consistent. I think on a good day I can trust Christ and not be anxious. On another day, it’s not that we don’t distrust Christ and disbelieve Him. We just like Gideon, where are the signs and miracles? What’s happening to our country? Isn’t that what we’re all lamenting about? And on the other hand, the sovereignty of God, as I keep saying, He’s not walking heaven’s floor wringing His hands, going, “Oh, America’s falling in the drink. It’s such a bad place.” He’s, I mean, He doesn’t sleep, but He could take a nap if He wanted. He’s the sovereign. So I need to be more in line with that.
And then there’s the disconnect. If we disengage the culture and disconnect the dialogue mea culpa on us. So at one hand we’re to be engaged and light and salt and pray for those in office and pray for kings and authorities and give honor to the king, understand the government, to be submissive to it. I just taught on, last weekend at Fellowship using one of Paul’s stories when he, taken to the Antonia Fortress, it’s Acts 22, and they’re about to beat him. Some of you know your Bibles well. And he says he’s a Roman citizen, remember that story? The guard gets all anxious and he says, “I got my Roman citizenship with a lot of money, a large sum of money,” and Paul says, “No, I was actually born a Roman citizen.” Remember that story? We don’t ever talk about this politically. That is a really important passage because Paul is saying what we would translate, I have the right to due process here. You can’t arrest me and beat me with a nightstick. You can’t profile me as a different ethnic group and put me in the back of a police car and beat me with a nightstick. I have due process. And if you do that you’re going to be in trouble for it. And potentially that guard could have been killed, potentially.
So, as an American citizen if we don’t smile and speak and stand for truth and for Christ and the freedom that these guys when you read them, as David Barton said, read these extended sermons and passages from passionate Christian men, and he’ll go, yet another deist, he’ll say sarcastically, yet another deist who founded our country. I think there were a lot of men who loved Christ who founded our country. So that is important to me. Is it important to everybody? No.
Question: So as a believer it’s important for us to properly respond and not react.
Easley: Very well said. And to be engaged and not to sit there and watch it go by. I’m trying to get our church to register to vote. The art community in Nashville, they don’t vote. It’s sort of a malaise Hollywood: I don’t vote. It doesn’t matter. You know, you need to vote because you have the right to vote. I don’t care who you vote for. Well, I do care who they vote for, but I don’t really care. I want them to register. I want them to be involved with the process; because one day it might be taken away. And one day they may not be able to say, like Paul said,”You can’t beat me I’m a Roman. You can’t take the Bible away from me because we have separation of church and state, and I believe I can teach what God says. If they can have a Qur’an and a mosque then I can have a Bible and a church. And I think those freedoms should exist for both, but we shouldn’t kill each other.” So the government’s there for our good, so, you know. I mean, this is the conundrum, in government and war. How do we live in among it? We all can’t run for office. We all can’t be attorneys. Praise God! And we all can’t be preachers. Really, praise God! So how God has wired and designed you and how you use your gifts, talents, abilities, stewardship, that’s what He’s most interested in.
Question: So then let’s be an obedient people.
Easley: It’s better to be faithful than successful. It’s better to be obedient than worry about the results. Great questions. She’s a thinker, isn’t she? What’s the square root of pi? What’s the second law of thermodynamics? That, you know. Okay.
Question: I’m not a good public speaker. When I lost 40% of my money I was walking around like a zombie for three days. And it finally hit me, it’s like that’s what’s wrong with our country. We have idols, so praise the Lord. You know, if it gets people’s attention it was worth what happened. And I try to keep that attitude with all these other things that keep me very anxious is, we can’t really see what God’s doing. And there was good that came out of that, because I didn’t realize that I had so much faith in money.
Easley: And we all have that, you know, whatever the number and amount. Like I said, if I’ve got enough money, Cindy and I are getting along, check the boxes, then I feel pretty good about life. You touch my back, you touch my spine. Someone was sharing with me, I had one cataract done. I have another one done Monday morning. And they said, “Yeah, you’re young for cataract. I know someone that after they got the cataract at a young age their retina failed and they lost their sight.” Oh, thanks for telling me. Thanks for sharing, you know. So now I’m thinking about I’m going to lose my left eye now. Maybe I shouldn’t do this other surgery tomorrow. This world is not our home.
One of the other 10 original things I have said is this life, at best, is a clean bus station. This life at best is a clean bus station, and we’re trying to make it a palace. And we are not. I mean, have you ever been in a bus station when the seats were comfortable? You know, and it’s this mass of humanity that stinks, is disheveled and we’re waiting to get on a bus that stinks. And this life at best is a clean bus station. This is not our home and we work so hard at making it home. And the delusion that if then, if I get all these things. You know, my wife went back to work. She’s a realtor and I keep telling her, keep going, honey. I’ll be a kept man. I’m happy to stay home. It’s my dream to be a kept man.
Question: You’re in good company.
Easley: Yeah, and he’s got a better head start though than I do. He’s got his 20 done. But we often talk about that. And Cindy has been a great sobriety to me in the Christian life, because when I get indulged with the pain, and when I go to the doctor and get the what ifs and the potential future of what my life could be like, it gets very discouraging. And if I go to the what if, I can get depressed and feel sorry for myself. And I’ll never forget, we were in Virginia. I’ve told this story many times. You may have heard it before. Forgive me. But it’s a profound defining moment, kind of like Jeremy’s time in South Africa. When we were in Virginia and I was on all these heavy drugs. None of them were helping. I couldn’t get to the doctors. I was in an HMO at the time that would call you back in three or four weeks maybe and having a heck of a time getting help. And I was sitting on the couch. I was on oxycontin, Lyrica, Gabapentin, all these heavy, heavy drugs. I couldn’t function. I was in excruciating pain, getting more Oxy. The side effects aren’t worth it. And I sat on the couch, I couldn’t sit, couldn’t stand, couldn’t walk for more than about five minutes, and I said “Honey, I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Now, I didn’t mean it, but I said, “If I can’t get some relief I’m going to jump off highway 66 on the 45 and kill myself.” Now, I wasn’t going to do it, but that’s how I felt.
Question: Been there and done that.
Easley: And I mean tears were running off my jaw like a baby. And I said “How do you do this?” to Cindy. I can still see it like a videotape. She stopped and she closed her eyes and she said, what, we’d been married 20, whatever at that time, 32 now. Let’s say 25. She goes, “I look back on the 25 years we’ve been married, and God has been faithful to this very day. Why would He not be faithful tomorrow?” And I hung on to that up here. I didn’t believe it down here, but I hung on to it up here. None of us know our future.
Question: But we don’t know God, and He’s using all that pain for His glory.
Easley: We don’t know Him; He’s using it for His glory. I call it imperceptible influence. You just don’t know how He’s using it. As I talked last night about you grandparents; you have no idea how He’s using you. And you better go do something about it, because, not to be morbid, but we just don’t know. We don’t know.
Question: And in the greater scheme of things your pain and my pain and money are not that big of deal.
Easley: That’s right. Your pain and money aren’t that big of deal. But when it’s my pain and my money, it’s a big deal.
Question: I’ve been pretty involved especially in this election, being pro-life and everything. How do you encourage pastors to speak out and encourage their flock to vote? I mean, it’s just been a real struggle for me, I mean, just to, you know, just with that. I mean, I praise God they had the, what was it, the Pledge Sunday, and, you know, and I, you know, contacted people in our church and, you know, tried to encourage other people to have like home meetings with that. But, I mean, how do you just? I mean, I pray a lot, but how do you encourage other pastors to speak out on this?
Easley: Great question. One thing I would say is pastors have been beaten into a fear mode that they cannot talk about these things. And for right or for wrong, that’s one. Secondly, I think the bigger problem is our history instructors have failed us royally, from high school to college on. I think I would give them a resounding F because the revisionist text that are now in the school systems have taken so much of our heritage away. And when you have a great history teacher he or she is one of the most popular teachers on the planet. All history is, is the story of current events of another time. So for me it’s, since I like telling and reading stories, it’s understanding the stories of our past.
And that’s why I encourage,… I have mentioned John Adams in our congregation many times. It’s a wink, wink kind of hint, hint, you ought, because they won’t read a book, but they’ll watch a movie. And Hanks and Spielberg did a pretty fine job with McCullough’s book on John Adams. If I get them to watch one of those videos, one of those DVDs, they’re going to know 90% more than the average American about the founding of the Continental Congress, which is a tragedy, but that’s the reality of it. So I don’t think you’re going to change him, but my hope is that there’s weirdo’s like me and like you who just keep talking about it and get excited and passionate about it.
Kathy was sharing about apathy being one of the big issues today. People just don’t care. It feels too big. Well, that’s why I go back to the individual. Are you going to go cast your lot? At least go cast your lot. At the office, and I’m in music city, I’m in the music industry, in the office I’m the political junkie. And they, you know they don’t ask me a question because they’re going to get an hour answer. And I come in, you know, I taped all the debates. Anybody else here do that besides me? I taped all the debates when they were running for Republican nomination, and I went home and watched them. You know, I doubt anyone in my church did that. And I’ll do it if I miss any of the debates coming up. I’ll tape them. I tape the news every night and I watch the news. I’m probably the one person in the church that does that. Now there’s more than that. There’s a few attorneys that we like kvetch and complain like this.
But Barton’s done a fabulous job, yeah. And there’s others, and there’s men and women probably in your area in your city. I don’t know. What state are you guys from? New Jersey. Well, maybe not in New Jersey. No, I mean. You’ve got a fighter up there, baby. You’ve got a fighter up there. Christie’s a tough guy. And, you know, you’ve got Mike Pence in Indiana. You’ve got a lot of these guys that love Christ passionately and they’re trying hard and so I talk about them and pray for them. And, you know, I’ve never given money to campaigns. I’ve given money to Mike Pence. Cindy and I have given money to him because we so believe and know and trust him. And others we will too. But I think our job is to talk about it and not be afraid. Smile, speak the truth in love, be firm, say what you think. Everybody else is yelling at us what we’re supposed to think.
Question: This is a comment more than a question, but what I found encouraging in the few days that we’ve been here, though I’m like you, I think sometimes we can get caught up in the environment where geographically right where we’re at. What is our town doing? What is our state doing? You start getting that, the burden that you care and see what’s going on. And you sometimes feel like, am I the only one that cares or not. But when I’ve felt the Spirit being down here and talking with people from all around, this is going on all over.
Easley: Yes.
Question: You can identify your challenge, but it’s the same in principle. And God has people that’s stirred. I truly believe that. I’ve seen it in our area. No matter how many, you might have 10 Nahums, but it only takes the one Gideon in the area. And I believe that, I really sense that, here in just listening and talking to a few people. The same burdens we’re carrying they might have on a different cult in their town, but it’s the same thing. But God’s in the people because there’s one Spirit, one God, one family. He’s moving in their hearts the same way. I take responsibility for me as a believer. I’m to be the light and if I don’t take my responsibility I can’t hold you to yours.
Easley: Right.
Question: Or criticize you for not doing it. I think it’s just like that ripple effect. And I think that’s a lot of what I’ve learned and sensed in coming down here is, that this is going on all over.
Easley: Well, it’s like my city council friend said, “Read the statute, end of the story.” You know, had he not done his homework, would it have been the end of the world? No. It’s just illustrative of what one voice can do. And as a believer in your sphere of influence you have to decide, you know, I’m not saying you become a political junkie like me. In fact, it’d probably be better you not become a political junkie like me because you’ll have ulcers. But that you’re at least engaged in the issues and moral relativism is something that you understand as a believer that the value of the image of God is more important than anything else. Man was made in His image and that’s why we value life, not just because we’re anti-abortion, that life is the image of God. And they sacrificed their children to Molech, the Babylonians did, and it was incredible, that they would do such a thing. No.
If you all have read Mary Slessor, the children’s book was called Mary Slessor, Queen of the, White Queen of Cannibals. She was the first white British woman that went into Sudan Interior Missions in, goodness, the early 1800s, and she back in the bush and no white woman missionary had ever gone over there, Mary Slessor. And the Africans were, what do they call it? Vitiligo? Where the pigment’s a little different. They would throw their children off a cliff that had any disability or whatever, and she couldn’t get any traction anywhere. And she saw this woman taking a child, and, I forget the name of the cliff, but they had a name for it where they threw their children over. And she said she would take the child.
And Mary Slessor ends up starting an orphanage. She didn’t go over there to do that, but that’s what she ended up doing. And then she starts taking in battered women. This is in the 1800s. And Mary Slessor becomes an incredible force in, truly, and when you think of African and Women Missions in Sudan Interior Missions. The Brits poured billions of dollars in Africa over the years long before Americans got involved. Her single work probably did more. And then you’ll get C.T. Studd and others, individuals like that. And we’re not all called to do that. But she did one thing. And I think that’s what, you know; your sphere of the world, what are you going to do?
There’s a little girl in our area, well what is Katie’s last name? Katie’s a 19 year old girl, goes on a high school mission’s trip to Uganda. She goes to Uganda. She’s from our area, went to Ravenwood High School I think, in our area. And she calls, she doesn’t want to come back. Tells her parents she doesn’t want to come back. No, you have to come back. Got to come back, got to go to college. So she came back, went one semester to Belmont. She went back over there. The 147 million orphans, that’s Katie’s vision. She has adopted 13 children of her own. She’s a beautiful little petite white girl living in Uganda. And you read her blog it’ll blow your mind what she’s doing. And she feeds something like 800 orphans a day and brings teams over and they come over. One kid with a perfect bright smile. And when you read her blog the first year she talked about the heat and the flies and the mosquito and the stench and the stink and she couldn’t sleep. And after about a year of her blog she doesn’t mention any of that anymore. And she can’t stand to come to the States. She’s got to go back home. So mom and dad spend a lot of time in Uganda now to go help Katie. Katie’s Kids, I think that’s what the other ministry is called, you know.

 

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