3 Heroes – Barak, Jephthah, and Samson

TEXTHeb. 12:1-211:32

INTRODUCTION:

A.      OUR TEXT TELLS OF A “CLOUD OF WITNESSES.”

          1.       Heroes of Faith – Old Testament characters, well-known and obscure.

          2.       People worth imitating – in their faith, patience and obedience.

B.      OUR TEXT TELLS US OF THREE:  BARAK, JEPHTHAH, AND SAMSON.

          1.       All three were triumphant in opposing the enemies of God – IN WAR!

          2.       All three suffered personal failure in spite of their public triumph.

          3.       All three can trace their failure back to their connections with women.

The Women were not at fault!

C.      IN THEM WE FIND EXAMPLES TO FOLLOW AND WARNINGS!

I.      BARAK (Judges 45).

A.      BARAK’S STORY.

          1.       Israel’s backslide and the oppression of Jabin.  Sisera of Harosheth Jabin’s captain.

          2.       Deborah, wife of Lappidoth.  Female judge?  We don’t know her circumstance.

          3.       Reminds Barak of God’s command and promise (4:6-7).

          4.       Barak’s reluctance and his condition (vs. 9).  “If thou wilt go with me, then …”

          5.       Barak’s shame.  “Jehovah will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman” (vs. 9).

          6.       Battle and Victory (vs. 12-16).

          7.       The death of Sisera (vs. 17-22).  Jabin, king of Canaan subdued (vs. 23-24).

B.      BARAK AS A LEADER OF GOD’S PEOPLE.

          1.       His reluctance – his shame (4:9).  “… shall not be for thine honor.”  What then?

          2.       Deborah’s song (ch. 5):

                   a.  (vs. 2) Leaders took the lead č Where was Barak?

                   b.  (vs. 2) The people offered themselves willingly č Did Barak?

                   c.  (vs. 7-11).  How did 2 women rise to such prominence (vs. 7, 10-11).

                   d.  (vs. 12, 15).  For Barak, faint praise.

                   e.  (vs. 27).

C.      LESSONS FOR TODAY.

          1.       God has given leadership to men (1 Cor. 11:3, 8-12;  14:33-34;  Eph. 5:22-24).

          2.       Men often do, but must not abdicate authority in either the home or the church.

          3.       1 Cor. 16:13;  14:20.  It is time to act like men in regard to responsibility & honor.

                   a.  Providing for ourselves and families (Eph. 4:28;  1 Tim. 5:8).

                   b.  Glorifying God in our daily living (Rom. 12:171 Pet. 2:11-12).

II.     JEPHTHAH (Judges 1112).

A.      JEPHTHAH’S STORY.

          1.       Isreal oppressed by the Ammonites (10:6-911:4).

          2.       Jephthah’s shady birth and his brethren (11:1-3).

          3.       A mighty man of valor (11:1) surrounded by vain fellows (vs. 3).

          4.       Gilead’s desperate decision – Jephthah will lead us (vs. 5-6)  The Deal (vs. 7-11).

          5.       The Ammonite complaint and Jephthah’s defiant answer (vs. 12-28) – 300 YEARS!

          6.       The Spirit of Jehovah came upon Jephthah (vs. 29Guidance and Victory implied!

          7.       The Rash Vow (vs. 30-31),  and his child suffers for his foolishness (vs. 34-40).

          8.       Why make such a vow with victory assured?

                   a.  The “Pride of Grace.”

                   b.  It was all about Jephthah!

B.      LESSONS FOR TODAY.

          1.       The blessedness of having children (Psa. 128;  127:3-5;  Prov 17:6).

                    a.  ABRAHAM CHOSEN FOR THIS REASON ( Gen. 18:19 ).

                   b.  Parents have a responsibility ( Eph. 6:4; Prov. 22:6,15 ).

                   c.  Wise children listen ( Prov. 3:1-2 ).

                   d.  Eph. 5:21, 251 Tim. 5:8.  Characteristic of the True Believer.

          2.       Jephthah’s preoccupation did not consider his daughter’s welfare.

                   a.  Are we so wrapped up in our own business, that our children take 2nd place?

                   b.  Matt. 7:9-10.  Who is it that would give their child the serpent or stone?

                   c.  Maybe our children die – there are worse things (Psa. 30:11-14, 17). Consequence!

                   d.  God requires that we do our best

                             – That means proper priorities (Eph. 6:4Matt. 6:33).

          3.       Will we sacrifice our children?

III.    SAMSON (Judges 14-16).

A.      PART ONE – SAMSON’S PHILISTINE WIFE (ch. 14).

          1.       On the way to the wedding (vs. 5-9), and the riddle (vs. 12-14).

          2.       Philistine women can’t be trusted (vs. 15-17).  Plowing with my heifer (vs. 18).

          3.       Warned by his parents (14:1-3).  “I have seen a woman … she pleaseth me well.”

B.      PART TWO – THE HARLOT (15:1-3).

C.      PART THREE – THE GIRLFRIEND (15:4-31).  Another Philistine woman!

D.      LESSON FOR TODAY.  WHAT WAS HIS PROBLEM?

          1.       Allowing our appetites to control us gets un in trouble every time (Rom. 6:12).

          2.       1 Cor. 6:18, 9-11.

          3.       Anything for “Love?” (1 John 2:15;  Matt. 16:26).

          4.       We must avoid that which tempts (Phil. 4:8;  James 4:7).

          5.       Who is responsible? (Prov. 9:17-18;  7:21-23;  30:20).  Who gets hurt?

CONCLUSION:

A.      THESE THREE WERE HEROIC IN WHAT THEY DID FOR THE CAUSE.

B.      SHORTCOMINGS WE DON’T WANT TO IMITATE.