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Service Archives > Bible from 30,000 Feet, The > Destination: Judges 11-21

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Destination: Judges 11-21
Judges 11-21
Skip Heitzig

Judges 11 (NKJV™)
1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead begot Jephthah.
2 Gilead's wife bore sons; and when his wife's sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out, and said to him, "You shall have no inheritance in our father's house, for you are the son of another woman."
3 Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and dwelt in the land of Tob; and worthless men banded together with Jephthah and went out raiding with him.
4 It came to pass after a time that the people of Ammon made war against Israel.
5 And so it was, when the people of Ammon made war against Israel, that the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob.
6 Then they said to Jephthah, "Come and be our commander, that we may fight against the people of Ammon."
7 So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, "Did you not hate me, and expel me from my father's house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?"
8 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, "That is why we have turned again to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the people of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead."
9 So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, "If you take me back home to fight against the people of Ammon, and the LORD delivers them to me, shall I be your head?"
10 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, "The LORD will be a witness between us, if we do not do according to your words."
11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD in Mizpah.
12 Now Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the people of Ammon, saying, "What do you have against me, that you have come to fight against me in my land?"
13 And the king of the people of Ammon answered the messengers of Jephthah, "Because Israel took away my land when they came up out of Egypt, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok, and to the Jordan. Now therefore, restore those lands peaceably."
14 So Jephthah again sent messengers to the king of the people of Ammon,
15 and said to him, "Thus says Jephthah: 'Israel did not take away the land of Moab, nor the land of the people of Ammon;
16 'for when Israel came up from Egypt, they walked through the wilderness as far as the Red Sea and came to Kadesh.
17 'Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, "Please let me pass through your land." But the king of Edom would not heed. And in like manner they sent to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel remained in Kadesh.
18 'And they went along through the wilderness and bypassed the land of Edom and the land of Moab, came to the east side of the land of Moab, and encamped on the other side of the Arnon. But they did not enter the border of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab.
19 'Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon; and Israel said to him, "Please let us pass through your land into our place."
20 'But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory. So Sihon gathered all his people together, encamped in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.
21 'And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them. Thus Israel gained possession of all the land of the Amorites, who inhabited that country.
22 'They took possession of all the territory of the Amorites, from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the wilderness to the Jordan.
23 'And now the LORD God of Israel has dispossessed the Amorites from before His people Israel; should you then possess it?
24 'Will you not possess whatever Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whatever the LORD our God takes possession of before us, we will possess.
25 'And now, are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive against Israel? Did he ever fight against them?
26 'While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its villages, in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities along the banks of the Arnon, for three hundred years, why did you not recover them within that time?
27 'Therefore I have not sinned against you, but you wronged me by fighting against me. May the LORD, the Judge, render judgment this day between the children of Israel and the people of Ammon.'"
28 However, the king of the people of Ammon did not heed the words which Jephthah sent him.
29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed through Mizpah of Gilead; and from Mizpah of Gilead he advanced toward the people of Ammon.
30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, "If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands,
31 "then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering."
32 So Jephthah advanced toward the people of Ammon to fight against them, and the LORD delivered them into his hands.
33 And he defeated them from Aroer as far as Minnith--twenty cities--and to Abel Keramim, with a very great slaughter. Thus the people of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
34 When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter.
35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, "Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot go back on it."
36 So she said to him, "My father, if you have given your word to the LORD, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, because the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the people of Ammon."
37 Then she said to her father, "Let this thing be done for me: let me alone for two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my virginity, my friends and I."
38 So he said, "Go." And he sent her away for two months; and she went with her friends, and bewailed her virginity on the mountains.
39 And it was so at the end of two months that she returned to her father, and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man. And it became a custom in Israel
40 that the daughters of Israel went four days each year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.
Judges 12 (NKJV™)
1 Then the men of Ephraim gathered together, crossed over toward Zaphon, and said to Jephthah, "Why did you cross over to fight against the people of Ammon, and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house down on you with fire!"
2 And Jephthah said to them, "My people and I were in a great struggle with the people of Ammon; and when I called you, you did not deliver me out of their hands.
3 "So when I saw that you would not deliver me, I took my life in my hands and crossed over against the people of Ammon; and the LORD delivered them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?"
4 Now Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead and fought against Ephraim. And the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, "You Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites and among the Manassites."
5 The Gileadites seized the fords of the Jordan before the Ephraimites arrived. And when any Ephraimite who escaped said, "Let me cross over," the men of Gilead would say to him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he said, "No,"
6 then they would say to him, "Then say, 'Shibboleth'!" And he would say, "Sibboleth," for he could not pronounce it right. Then they would take him and kill him at the fords of the Jordan. There fell at that time forty-two thousand Ephraimites.
7 And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in among the cities of Gilead.
8 After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.
9 He had thirty sons. And he gave away thirty daughters in marriage, and brought in thirty daughters from elsewhere for his sons. He judged Israel seven years.
10 Then Ibzan died and was buried at Bethlehem.
11 After him, Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel. He judged Israel ten years.
12 And Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried at Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.
13 After him, Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel.
14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy young donkeys. He judged Israel eight years.
15 Then Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mountains of the Amalekites.
Judges 13 (NKJV™)
1 Again the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.
2 Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children.
3 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.
4 "Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean.
5 "For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."
6 So the woman came and told her husband, saying, "A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name.
7 "And He said to me, 'Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.'"
8 Then Manoah prayed to the LORD, and said, "O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born."
9 And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the Angel of God came to the woman again as she was sitting in the field; but Manoah her husband was not with her.
10 Then the woman ran in haste and told her husband, and said to him, "Look, the Man who came to me the other day has just now appeared to me!"
11 So Manoah arose and followed his wife. When he came to the Man, he said to Him, "Are You the Man who spoke to this woman?" And He said, "I am."
12 Manoah said, "Now let Your words come to pass! What will be the boy's rule of life, and his work?"
13 So the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, "Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful.
14 "She may not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor may she drink wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean. All that I commanded her let her observe."
15 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, "Please let us detain You, and we will prepare a young goat for You."
16 And the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, "Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the LORD." (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the LORD.)
17 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, "What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass we may honor You?"
18 And the Angel of the LORD said to him, "Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?"
19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the LORD. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on--
20 it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar--the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground.
21 When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD.
22 And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God!"
23 But his wife said to him, "If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have told us such things as these at this time."
24 So the woman bore a son and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.
25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Judges 14 (NKJV™)
1 Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines.
2 So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, "I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife."
3 Then his father and mother said to him, "Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" And Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she pleases me well."
4 But his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD--that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. For at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
5 So Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came to the vineyards of Timnah. Now to his surprise, a young lion came roaring against him.
6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.
7 Then he went down and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.
8 After some time, when he returned to get her, he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion. And behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the carcass of the lion.
9 He took some of it in his hands and went along, eating. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they also ate. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion.
10 So his father went down to the woman. And Samson gave a feast there, for young men used to do so.
11 And it happened, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
12 Then Samson said to them, "Let me pose a riddle to you. If you can correctly solve and explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing.
13 "But if you cannot explain it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing." And they said to him, "Pose your riddle, that we may hear it."
14 So he said to them: "Out of the eater came something to eat, And out of the strong came something sweet." Now for three days they could not explain the riddle.
15 But it came to pass on the seventh day that they said to Samson's wife, "Entice your husband, that he may explain the riddle to us, or else we will burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you invited us in order to take what is ours? Is that not so?"
16 Then Samson's wife wept on him, and said, "You only hate me! You do not love me! You have posed a riddle to the sons of my people, but you have not explained it to me." And he said to her, "Look, I have not explained it to my father or my mother; so should I explain it to you?"
17 Now she had wept on him the seven days while their feast lasted. And it happened on the seventh day that he told her, because she pressed him so much. Then she explained the riddle to the sons of her people.
18 So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down: "What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion?" And he said to them: "If you had not plowed with my heifer, You would not have solved my riddle!"
19 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, took their apparel, and gave the changes of clothing to those who had explained the riddle. So his anger was aroused, and he went back up to his father's house.
20 And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.
Judges 15 (NKJV™)
1 After a while, in the time of wheat harvest, it happened that Samson visited his wife with a young goat. And he said, "Let me go in to my wife, into her room." But her father would not permit him to go in.
2 Her father said, "I really thought that you thoroughly hated her; therefore I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister better than she? Please, take her instead."
3 And Samson said to them, "This time I shall be blameless regarding the Philistines if I harm them!"
4 Then Samson went and caught three hundred foxes; and he took torches, turned the foxes tail to tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails.
5 When he had set the torches on fire, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burned up both the shocks and the standing grain, as well as the vineyards and olive groves.
6 Then the Philistines said, "Who has done this?" And they answered, "Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife and given her to his companion." So the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire.
7 Samson said to them, "Since you would do a thing like this, I will surely take revenge on you, and after that I will cease."
8 So he attacked them hip and thigh with a great slaughter; then he went down and dwelt in the cleft of the rock of Etam.
9 Now the Philistines went up, encamped in Judah, and deployed themselves against Lehi.
10 And the men of Judah said, "Why have you come up against us?" So they answered, "We have come up to arrest Samson, to do to him as he has done to us."
11 Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, "Do you not know that the Philistines rule over us? What is this you have done to us?" And he said to them, "As they did to me, so I have done to them."
12 But they said to him, "We have come down to arrest you, that we may deliver you into the hand of the Philistines." Then Samson said to them, "Swear to me that you will not kill me yourselves."
13 So they spoke to him, saying, "No, but we will tie you securely and deliver you into their hand; but we will surely not kill you." And they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.
14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting against him. Then the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him; and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds broke loose from his hands.
15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it.
16 Then Samson said: "With the jawbone of a donkey, Heaps upon heaps, With the jawbone of a donkey I have slain a thousand men!"
17 And so it was, when he had finished speaking, that he threw the jawbone from his hand, and called that place Ramath Lehi.
18 Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out to the LORD and said, "You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant; and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?"
19 So God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore he called its name En Hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.
20 And he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.
Judges 16 (NKJV™)
1 Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her.
2 When the Gazites were told, "Samson has come here!" they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. They were quiet all night, saying, "In the morning, when it is daylight, we will kill him."
3 And Samson lay low till midnight; then he arose at midnight, took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.
4 Afterward it happened that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
5 And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, "Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and every one of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver."
6 So Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me where your great strength lies, and with what you may be bound to afflict you."
7 And Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man."
8 So the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, and she bound him with them.
9 Now men were lying in wait, staying with her in the room. And she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he broke the bowstrings as a strand of yarn breaks when it touches fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, "Look, you have mocked me and told me lies. Now, please tell me what you may be bound with."
11 So he said to her, "If they bind me securely with new ropes that have never been used, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man."
12 Therefore Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And men were lying in wait, staying in the room. But he broke them off his arms like a thread.
13 Delilah said to Samson, "Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me what you may be bound with." And he said to her, "If you weave the seven locks of my head into the web of the loom"--
14 So she wove it tightly with the batten of the loom, and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he awoke from his sleep, and pulled out the batten and the web from the loom.
15 Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies."
16 And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death,
17 that he told her all his heart, and said to her, "No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man."
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up once more, for he has told me all his heart." So the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand.
19 Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him.
20 And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" So he awoke from his sleep, and said, "I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!" But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.
21 Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.
22 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.
23 Now the lords of the Philistines gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice. And they said: "Our god has delivered into our hands Samson our enemy!"
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said: "Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy, The destroyer of our land, And the one who multiplied our dead."
25 So it happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, "Call for Samson, that he may perform for us." So they called for Samson from the prison, and he performed for them. And they stationed him between the pillars.
26 Then Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, "Let me feel the pillars which support the temple, so that I can lean on them."
27 Now the temple was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there--about three thousand men and women on the roof watching while Samson performed.
28 Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, "O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!"
29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left.
30 Then Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.
31 And his brothers and all his father's household came down and took him, and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah. He had judged Israel twenty years.
Judges 17 (NKJV™)
1 Now there was a man from the mountains of Ephraim, whose name was Micah.
2 And he said to his mother, "The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you, and on which you put a curse, even saying it in my ears--here is the silver with me; I took it." And his mother said, "May you be blessed by the LORD, my son!"
3 So when he had returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, "I had wholly dedicated the silver from my hand to the LORD for my son, to make a carved image and a molded image; now therefore, I will return it to you."
4 Thus he returned the silver to his mother. Then his mother took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to the silversmith, and he made it into a carved image and a molded image; and they were in the house of Micah.
5 The man Micah had a shrine, and made an ephod and household idols; and he consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.
6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
7 Now there was a young man from Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah; he was a Levite, and was staying there.
8 The man departed from the city of Bethlehem in Judah to stay wherever he could find a place. Then he came to the mountains of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.
9 And Micah said to him, "Where do you come from?" So he said to him, "I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I am on my way to find a place to stay."
10 Micah said to him, "Dwell with me, and be a father and a priest to me, and I will give you ten shekels of silver per year, a suit of clothes, and your sustenance." So the Levite went in.
11 Then the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man became like one of his sons to him.
12 So Micah consecrated the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and lived in the house of Micah.
13 Then Micah said, "Now I know that the LORD will be good to me, since I have a Levite as priest!"
Judges 18 (NKJV™)
1 In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for itself to dwell in; for until that day their inheritance among the tribes of Israel had not fallen to them.
2 So the children of Dan sent five men of their family from their territory, men of valor from Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy out the land and search it. They said to them, "Go, search the land." So they went to the mountains of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there.
3 While they were at the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young Levite. They turned aside and said to him, "Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What do you have here?"
4 He said to them, "Thus and so Micah did for me. He has hired me, and I have become his priest."
5 So they said to him, "Please inquire of God, that we may know whether the journey on which we go will be prosperous."
6 And the priest said to them, "Go in peace. The presence of the LORD be with you on your way."
7 So the five men departed and went to Laish. They saw the people who were there, how they dwelt safely, in the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure. There were no rulers in the land who might put them to shame for anything. They were far from the Sidonians, and they had no ties with anyone.
8 Then the spies came back to their brethren at Zorah and Eshtaol, and their brethren said to them, "What is your report?"
9 So they said, "Arise, let us go up against them. For we have seen the land, and indeed it is very good. Would you do nothing? Do not hesitate to go, and enter to possess the land.
10 "When you go, you will come to a secure people and a large land. For God has given it into your hands, a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth."
11 And six hundred men of the family of the Danites went from there, from Zorah and Eshtaol, armed with weapons of war.
12 Then they went up and encamped in Kirjath Jearim in Judah. (Therefore they call that place Mahaneh Dan to this day. There it is, west of Kirjath Jearim.)
13 And they passed from there to the mountains of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.
14 Then the five men who had gone to spy out the country of Laish answered and said to their brethren, "Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod, household idols, a carved image, and a molded image? Now therefore, consider what you should do."
15 So they turned aside there, and came to the house of the young Levite man--to the house of Micah--and greeted him.
16 The six hundred men armed with their weapons of war, who were of the children of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate.
17 Then the five men who had gone to spy out the land went up. Entering there, they took the carved image, the ephod, the household idols, and the molded image. The priest stood at the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men who were armed with weapons of war.
18 When these went into Micah's house and took the carved image, the ephod, the household idols, and the molded image, the priest said to them, "What are you doing?"
19 And they said to him, "Be quiet, put your hand over your mouth, and come with us; be a father and a priest to us. Is it better for you to be a priest to the household of one man, or that you be a priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?"
20 So the priest's heart was glad; and he took the ephod, the household idols, and the carved image, and took his place among the people.
21 Then they turned and departed, and put the little ones, the livestock, and the goods in front of them.
22 When they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah's house gathered together and overtook the children of Dan.
23 And they called out to the children of Dan. So they turned around and said to Micah, "What ails you, that you have gathered such a company?"
24 So he said, "You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and you have gone away. Now what more do I have? How can you say to me, 'What ails you?'"
25 And the children of Dan said to him, "Do not let your voice be heard among us, lest angry men fall upon you, and you lose your life, with the lives of your household!"
26 Then the children of Dan went their way. And when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.
27 So they took the things Micah had made, and the priest who had belonged to him, and went to Laish, to a people quiet and secure; and they struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire.
28 There was no deliverer, because it was far from Sidon, and they had no ties with anyone. It was in the valley that belongs to Beth Rehob. So they rebuilt the city and dwelt there.
29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel. However, the name of the city formerly was Laish.
30 Then the children of Dan set up for themselves the carved image; and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.
31 So they set up for themselves Micah's carved image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.
Judges 19 (NKJV™)
1 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite staying in the remote mountains of Ephraim. He took for himself a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah.
2 But his concubine played the harlot against him, and went away from him to her father's house at Bethlehem in Judah, and was there four whole months.
3 Then her husband arose and went after her, to speak kindly to her and bring her back, having his servant and a couple of donkeys with him. So she brought him into her father's house; and when the father of the young woman saw him, he was glad to meet him.
4 Now his father-in-law, the young woman's father, detained him; and he stayed with him three days. So they ate and drank and lodged there.
5 Then it came to pass on the fourth day that they arose early in the morning, and he stood to depart; but the young woman's father said to his son-in-law, "Refresh your heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way."
6 So they sat down, and the two of them ate and drank together. Then the young woman's father said to the man, "Please be content to stay all night, and let your heart be merry."
7 And when the man stood to depart, his father-in-law urged him; so he lodged there again.
8 Then he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart, but the young woman's father said, "Please refresh your heart." So they delayed until afternoon; and both of them ate.
9 And when the man stood to depart--he and his concubine and his servant--his father-in-law, the young woman's father, said to him, "Look, the day is now drawing toward evening; please spend the night. See, the day is coming to an end; lodge here, that your heart may be merry. Tomorrow go your way early, so that you may get home."
10 However, the man was not willing to spend that night; so he rose and departed, and came to opposite Jebus (that is, Jerusalem). With him were the two saddled donkeys; his concubine was also with him.
11 They were near Jebus, and the day was far spent; and the servant said to his master, "Come, please, and let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites and lodge in it."
12 But his master said to him, "We will not turn aside here into a city of foreigners, who are not of the children of Israel; we will go on to Gibeah."
13 So he said to his servant, "Come, let us draw near to one of these places, and spend the night in Gibeah or in Ramah."
14 And they passed by and went their way; and the sun went down on them near Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin.
15 They turned aside there to go in to lodge in Gibeah. And when he went in, he sat down in the open square of the city, for no one would take them into his house to spend the night.
16 Just then an old man came in from his work in the field at evening, who also was from the mountains of Ephraim; he was staying in Gibeah, whereas the men of the place were Benjamites.
17 And when he raised his eyes, he saw the traveler in the open square of the city; and the old man said, "Where are you going, and where do you come from?"
18 So he said to him, "We are passing from Bethlehem in Judah toward the remote mountains of Ephraim; I am from there. I went to Bethlehem in Judah; now I am going to the house of the LORD. But there is no one who will take me into his house,
19 "although we have both straw and fodder for our donkeys, and bread and wine for myself, for your female servant, and for the young man who is with your servant; there is no lack of anything."
20 And the old man said, "Peace be with you! However, let all your needs be my responsibility; only do not spend the night in the open square."
21 So he brought him into his house, and gave fodder to the donkeys. And they washed their feet, and ate and drank.
22 As they were enjoying themselves, suddenly certain men of the city, perverted men, surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, "Bring out the man who came to your house, that we may know him carnally!"
23 But the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, "No, my brethren! I beg you, do not act so wickedly! Seeing this man has come into my house, do not commit this outrage.
24 "Look, here is my virgin daughter and the man's concubine; let me bring them out now. Humble them, and do with them as you please; but to this man do not do such a vile thing!"
25 But the men would not heed him. So the man took his concubine and brought her out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until morning; and when the day began to break, they let her go.
26 Then the woman came as the day was dawning, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her master was, till it was light.
27 When her master arose in the morning, and opened the doors of the house and went out to go his way, there was his concubine, fallen at the door of the house with her hands on the threshold.
28 And he said to her, "Get up and let us be going." But there was no answer. So the man lifted her onto the donkey; and the man got up and went to his place.
29 When he entered his house he took a knife, laid hold of his concubine, and divided her into twelve pieces, limb by limb, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel.
30 And so it was that all who saw it said, "No such deed has been done or seen from the day that the children of Israel came up from the land of Egypt until this day. Consider it, confer, and speak up!"
Judges 20 (NKJV™)
1 So all the children of Israel came out, from Dan to Beersheba, as well as from the land of Gilead, and the congregation gathered together as one man before the LORD at Mizpah.
2 And the leaders of all the people, all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand foot soldiers who drew the sword.
3 (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) Then the children of Israel said, "Tell us, how did this wicked deed happen?"
4 So the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, "My concubine and I went into Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin, to spend the night.
5 "And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and surrounded the house at night because of me. They intended to kill me, but instead they ravished my concubine so that she died.
6 "So I took hold of my concubine, cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of the inheritance of Israel, because they committed lewdness and outrage in Israel.
7 "Look! All of you are children of Israel; give your advice and counsel here and now!"
8 So all the people arose as one man, saying, "None of us will go to his tent, nor will any turn back to his house;
9 "but now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah: We will go up against it by lot.
10 "We will take ten men out of every hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, a hundred out of every thousand, and a thousand out of every ten thousand, to make provisions for the people, that when they come to Gibeah in Benjamin, they may repay all the vileness that they have done in Israel."
11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, united together as one man.
12 Then the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, "What is this wickedness that has occurred among you?
13 "Now therefore, deliver up the men, the perverted men who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and remove the evil from Israel!" But the children of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren, the children of Israel.
14 Instead, the children of Benjamin gathered together from their cities to Gibeah, to go to battle against the children of Israel.
15 And from their cities at that time the children of Benjamin numbered twenty-six thousand men who drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who numbered seven hundred select men.
16 Among all this people were seven hundred select men who were left-handed; every one could sling a stone at a hair's breadth and not miss.
17 Now besides Benjamin, the men of Israel numbered four hundred thousand men who drew the sword; all of these were men of war.
18 Then the children of Israel arose and went up to the house of God to inquire of God. They said, "Which of us shall go up first to battle against the children of Benjamin?" The LORD said, "Judah first!"
19 So the children of Israel rose in the morning and encamped against Gibeah.
20 And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin, and the men of Israel put themselves in battle array to fight against them at Gibeah.
21 Then the children of Benjamin came out of Gibeah, and on that day cut down to the ground twenty-two thousand men of the Israelites.
22 And the people, that is, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves and again formed the battle line at the place where they had put themselves in array on the first day.
23 Then the children of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until evening, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, "Shall I again draw near for battle against the children of my brother Benjamin?" And the LORD said, "Go up against him."
24 So the children of Israel approached the children of Benjamin on the second day.
25 And Benjamin went out against them from Gibeah on the second day, and cut down to the ground eighteen thousand more of the children of Israel; all these drew the sword.
26 Then all the children of Israel, that is, all the people, went up and came to the house of God and wept. They sat there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
27 So the children of Israel inquired of the LORD (the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
28 and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, "Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?" And the LORD said, "Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand."
29 Then Israel set men in ambush all around Gibeah.
30 And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in battle array against Gibeah as at the other times.
31 So the children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city. They began to strike down and kill some of the people, as at the other times, in the highways (one of which goes up to Bethel and the other to Gibeah) and in the field, about thirty men of Israel.
32 And the children of Benjamin said, "They are defeated before us, as at first." But the children of Israel said, "Let us flee and draw them away from the city to the highways."
33 So all the men of Israel rose from their place and put themselves in battle array at Baal Tamar. Then Israel's men in ambush burst forth from their position in the plain of Geba.
34 And ten thousand select men from all Israel came against Gibeah, and the battle was fierce. But the Benjamites did not know that disaster was upon them.
35 The LORD defeated Benjamin before Israel. And the children of Israel destroyed that day twenty-five thousand one hundred Benjamites; all these drew the sword.
36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were defeated. The men of Israel had given ground to the Benjamites, because they relied on the men in ambush whom they had set against Gibeah.
37 And the men in ambush quickly rushed upon Gibeah; the men in ambush spread out and struck the whole city with the edge of the sword.
38 Now the appointed signal between the men of Israel and the men in ambush was that they would make a great cloud of smoke rise up from the city,
39 whereupon the men of Israel would turn in battle. Now Benjamin had begun to strike and kill about thirty of the men of Israel. For they said, "Surely they are defeated before us, as in the first battle."
40 But when the cloud began to rise from the city in a column of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and there was the whole city going up in smoke to heaven.
41 And when the men of Israel turned back, the men of Benjamin panicked, for they saw that disaster had come upon them.
42 Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel in the direction of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them, and whoever came out of the cities they destroyed in their midst.
43 They surrounded the Benjamites, chased them, and easily trampled them down as far as the front of Gibeah toward the east.
44 And eighteen thousand men of Benjamin fell; all these were men of valor.
45 Then they turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon; and they cut down five thousand of them on the highways. Then they pursued them relentlessly up to Gidom, and killed two thousand of them.
46 So all who fell of Benjamin that day were twenty-five thousand men who drew the sword; all these were men of valor.
47 But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and they stayed at the rock of Rimmon for four months.
48 And the men of Israel turned back against the children of Benjamin, and struck them down with the edge of the sword--from every city, men and beasts, all who were found. They also set fire to all the cities they came to.
Judges 21 (NKJV™)
1 Now the men of Israel had sworn an oath at Mizpah, saying, "None of us shall give his daughter to Benjamin as a wife."
2 Then the people came to the house of God, and remained there before God till evening. They lifted up their voices and wept bitterly,
3 and said, "O LORD God of Israel, why has this come to pass in Israel, that today there should be one tribe missing in Israel?"
4 So it was, on the next morning, that the people rose early and built an altar there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.
5 The children of Israel said, "Who is there among all the tribes of Israel who did not come up with the assembly to the LORD?" For they had made a great oath concerning anyone who had not come up to the LORD at Mizpah, saying, "He shall surely be put to death."
6 And the children of Israel grieved for Benjamin their brother, and said, "One tribe is cut off from Israel today.
7 "What shall we do for wives for those who remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them our daughters as wives?"
8 And they said, "What one is there from the tribes of Israel who did not come up to Mizpah to the LORD?" And, in fact, no one had come to the camp from Jabesh Gilead to the assembly.
9 For when the people were counted, indeed, not one of the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead was there.
10 So the congregation sent out there twelve thousand of their most valiant men, and commanded them, saying, "Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead with the edge of the sword, including the women and children.
11 "And this is the thing that you shall do: You shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman who has known a man intimately."
12 So they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead four hundred young virgins who had not known a man intimately; and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.
13 Then the whole congregation sent word to the children of Benjamin who were at the rock of Rimmon, and announced peace to them.
14 So Benjamin came back at that time, and they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh Gilead; and yet they had not found enough for them.
15 And the people grieved for Benjamin, because the LORD had made a void in the tribes of Israel.
16 Then the elders of the congregation said, "What shall we do for wives for those who remain, since the women of Benjamin have been destroyed?"
17 And they said, "There must be an inheritance for the survivors of Benjamin, that a tribe may not be destroyed from Israel.
18 "However, we cannot give them wives from our daughters, for the children of Israel have sworn an oath, saying, 'Cursed be the one who gives a wife to Benjamin.'"
19 Then they said, "In fact, there is a yearly feast of the LORD in Shiloh, which is north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah."
20 Therefore they instructed the children of Benjamin, saying, "Go, lie in wait in the vineyards,
21 "and watch; and just when the daughters of Shiloh come out to perform their dances, then come out from the vineyards, and every man catch a wife for himself from the daughters of Shiloh; then go to the land of Benjamin.
22 "Then it shall be, when their fathers or their brothers come to us to complain, that we will say to them, 'Be kind to them for our sakes, because we did not take a wife for any of them in the war; for it is not as though you have given the women to them at this time, making yourselves guilty of your oath.'"
23 And the children of Benjamin did so; they took enough wives for their number from those who danced, whom they caught. Then they went and returned to their inheritance, and they rebuilt the cities and dwelt in them.
24 So the children of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family; they went out from there, every man to his inheritance.
25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Bible from 30,000 Feet, The

Flight thirteen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over Judges chapters 11-21. Pastor Skip Heitzig will guide us as we complete this overview of Judges. We will see that the second part of Judges shows the fragile nature of these Judges and a people who, "did what was right in their own eyes," that kept them in their sin cycle.

Have you ever wanted to learn how The Bible fits together? The Bible from 30,000 Feet is an overview study through the entire Bible, hitting the highlights of its people, places, events and themes in about a year. This series will give you a coherent understanding of the holy word of God.



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Detailed Notes

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This second part of Judges shows the fragile nature of these judges and a people who "did what was right in their own eyes." Jepthah's foolish vow, Samson's turning to his own lust, Micah's corruption of religion and the tribe of Dan not settling in their given land. The story degenerates from there to the people of Gibeah in Benjamin losing all sense of morals and raping an innocent woman followed by the near destruction of the tribe of Benjamin at the hands of other Israelite tribes. This period of time develops into a very dark period of Jewish history.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

1405-1400 B.C.
The land of Canaan is conquered

1400-1050 B.C.
Israel ruled by judges and not kings

1398 B.C.
Canaan is divided amongst the tribes

1380 B.C.
The death of Joshua

1370 B.C.
Othniel becomes Judge over Israel

1310 B.C.
Ehud is Judge over Israel

1230 B.C.
Deborah's great victory over Sisera

1190 B.C.
Gideon leads Israel

1100 B.C.
Samson fights the Philistines

1050 B.C.
Saul is anointed king of Israel


TRIP PLANNER

The second part of the book of Judges continues to describe the cycles of sin and deliverance. With each cycle, Israel falls deeper into idolatry, immorality and controversy. The final chapters of Judges describes Israel in chaos and civil war.

1. Deliverance in 7 Cycles (Two are mentioned in this second section)
  a. Jephthah - Judges 11-12
  b. Samson - Judges 13-16

2. Discord amongst the tribes - Judges 17-21


PLACES OF INTEREST

Fords of The Jordan - Crossing points across the Jordan River of strategic military value. They were also referred to as the "watering places."

Gilead - Located in the northern part of the territory east of the Jordan. The Gileadites were descended from a man named Gilead.

Land of Tob - An area east of Gilead.

Temple of Dagon - Dagon was the national god of the Philistines. All throughout the land cities built temples to Dagon. Samson was held prisoner in Gaza which had one of these temples (Judges 16:23-31). The temples were of simple design and were supported by pillars made of mud and stone. Inside, priests sacrificed many things to Dagon including children. Samson in his dying effort, pulled down the pillars, destroying this temple, killing himself and 3,000 Philistines.

Timnah - A town on the northwest border of Judah. By Samson's day it was occupied by the Philistines.

Zorah - Located in the foothills about 15 miles west of Jerusalem, near Philistine territory. Originally this town belonged to the tribe of Dan, but they were forced north by the power of the Philistines who occupied territory to the west. The town that Samson's parents lived. Samson was probably born there.


PEOPLE OF INTEREST

Abdon - From the tribe of Ephriam, the 11th Judge. He ruled for 8 years. He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons who rode on 70 young donkeys.

Delilah - She was a woman from the Valley of Sorek who Samson fell for when he came to the city of Gaza. She was crafty, beautiful and money hungry as she led Samson into one trap after another that led to his enslavement and death.

Elon - From the tribe of Zebulun, he was the 10th Judge. He ruled for 10 years and was buried in Aijalon in Zebulun.

Ibzan - From either the tribe of Judah of Zebulun. He was from Bethlehem. He ruled for 7 years and was Israel’s 9th Judge.

Jephthah - From the tribe of Manasseh he was the son of a harlot. He was driven away from his family by his half brothers. He became the judge after 18 years of oppression and ruled for 6 years. He was a mighty warrior and he defeated the Ammorites. In the end he made a foolish vow offering up his daughter as a burnt offering. He defeated the men of Ephraim who had been complaining to him.

Manoah - Samson’s father. Prayed for the return of the Man of God to direct them about the soon to be born Samson (Judges 13:2).

Micah - He was a man from the mountains of Ephraim. He was at the heart of the nations fall into apostasy. With the help of his over indulgent mother, he became an idol worshipper and led others into a similar state (Judges 17:1).

Phinehas - The one who stopped the plague at Peor. The fact that he was still alive shows that the organization of the Book of Judges is not strictly chronological.

Samson - From the tribe of Dan, the last and strongest of all the Judges. Samson’s birth was announced by the Angel of the Lord. He was a Nazarite from his birth. Samson was the arch enemy of the Philistines.


FUN FACTS

Nazarite Vow - Whoever took the Nazarite vow was setting their life aside for total devotion and service to God. The vow could be taken for as little as 30 days or for a lifetime. One who took the Nazarite vow was not allowed to cut their hair or shave their beard. They were not to drink wine or any kind of strong drink and were not allowed to touch a dead body, even if it were a close relative.

Shibboleth OR Sibboleth - This test devised by the Gileadites to catch the Ephraimites is the most famous example in the Bible of linguistic differences between the tribes. The Gileadites chose the word because the "s" sound at the beginning was pronounced "sh" by one side and "s" by the other.

Warriors - Jephthah was called a mighty warrior or a mighty man of valor. These warriors were not ordinary soldiers. These people possessed extraordinary bravery, courage and strength. They were able to demonstrate a fearless nature and great skill in battle. King David had his own group of mighty men who were so strong and so skilled that they were able to single-handedly kill entire troops of enemy soldiers.


MAPS

Palestine in the time of Judges

Transcript

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Good evening, how are you tonight? I was on line looking at theBiblefrom30K.org, our website, and Sam Garcia and the web team have done such a good job with it. If you go to that web site you can see the studies from Genesis all the way until now and you can also watch them, listen to them, download them, and listen in Spanish (not by me). The notes and the handouts are on there as well as photos from every Wednesday night and a Bible quiz for every week and you can also purchase the study. I'm told that by tomorrow we'll have all of the questions that have ever been sent in on there and we'll have the questions along with the answers all posted and we'll keep a running log of them all the way through the series. If you ever forget anything from these studies, it's a good way to go back and refresh your mind and your heart with them.
Turn to the book of Judges chapter 11 and let's have a word of prayer. Lord, in the midst of all of the fun and the great music and the banter back and forth and the pictures and the video and all of that which is a wonderful addition; the very heart of tonight's gathering is worship and Bible study and we place our hearts before you, the Living God. Not only the living God but our God, the Lord, our Master and we pray Lord that in the process of teaching and the process of us listening to Your spirit teach that You might reveal things in our lives that maybe aren't right or reaffirm something that is right; maybe a decision we have been contemplating. Encourage, these, Your people; bless our gathering; we're hungry tonight, Lord, in Jesus' Name. Amen
How many of you grew up going to church? How many, though maybe growing up going to church were saved later on and not necessarily because of the church you grew up in? Here is an interesting statistic: just because one goes to church doesn't necessitate that they are either hearing the truth or though hearing it, are responding to it. You might say that in any church service at any given time, there could still be people in great and desperate need. Here is a true and a kind of a bizarre story that I came across. A 16 year old girl was kidnapped and held hostage. She was captured and for four months was bound and hidden away. Guess where? In a little church attic in Memphis Tennessee. Think of the irony, week after week for four months, people would gather in the church and sing, worship, fellowship, read the Bible, and get blessed while at the same time there was a hostage, someone in bondage and wanting to be rescued. Well, she was finally found by two maintenance workers and she was freed but until then she was a helpless captive in this church. Think about that for a moment - a prisoner in church. Well, that can happen in a spiritual sense all the time. There are people who go to church and hear truth and sing songs but who don't necessarily have their lives freed from the bondage that comes from Christ. Israel was like that in this sense: they thought, "We're God's chosen people; we're okay; He chose us; we have such a great lineage in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; we're a special group of people; and they were. They were special in that God selected them but at the same time, because they started drawing away from the Lord who had saved them and away from the instructions that God gave them and though they were technically Gods chosen people, they were still in deep bondage or going back that way. We touched on that briefly when we covered the first ten chapters of the book of Judges. A brief overview and recap from that is that they went from conquest to compromise; they were conquerors of this new land under Joshua; they were king of the hill and they were taking all the areas that God had given to them. They were living in conquest and victory. But in Judges they go from conquest to compromise and we saw this sin cycle repeated over and over again. There were phases to that sin cycle: number one, rebellion; they decided, "This life of faith and of following God and these laws and rules and regulations are not for us." They became enamored with other worship systems. Their neighbors were doing different things and they wanted to be a part of that. So they went from walking with the Lord to rebellion. After rebellion came retribution; God allowed them to be sold into the people who worshiped those false gods so that they felt the oppression of captivity which made them feel really bad. So in the third phase, repentance, they cried out to the Lord, "God, we're sorry that we blew it and we bummed You out; help us." This brought them into the fourth phase of the sin cycle: restoration. You would think that maybe after one or two of those they would learn; but they did it seven times that's recorded at least, in the book of judges. So they went from conquest to compromise. In finishing this book, we're going to go from compromise to chaos. I would love the book to end saying that they had a little white picket fence and they lived happily ever after but it doesn't end that way. It actually ends worse than how it begins. They go from compromise to chaos and here's the principle: with the absence of authority comes the presence of anarchy. If you take away authority and you will have in its place anarchy and that is how the book will end - every man does what is right in his own mind; pure existentialism.
We are dealing with a period of about 350 years of Israeli history where 13 judges, deliverers, warriors, or leaders, 12 men and one woman, Deborah, deliver the children of Israel in that sin cycle and they are brought back. Chapters 11 and 12 give us the next judge, the ninth judge, a guy by the name of Jephthah. Once again there were enemies that were flexing their muscles - the Ammonites and they are basically saying, "We're the new kids on the block and we're going to take over." Verse 1: "Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor," that is, he was an adept military man; a real fighter, "but he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead begot Jephthah," that is through a harlot; he was an illegitimate son and thus he was scorned by his stepbrothers and by his community. Verse 3: "Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and dwelt in the land of Tob; and worthless men banded together with Jephthah and went out raiding with him." These worthless men were idol men who didn't have anything else going on in their life and they were bored and wanted some action. They were looking for a gang and their own little family and they found one with Jephthah. Like David in the wilderness when Saul was chasing him and a band of man rallied around him, so it is now with Jephthah. Verse 29: "Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed through Mizpah of Gilead; and from Mizpah of Gilead he advanced toward the people of Ammon. And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, 'If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.'" Vows such as these were not compulsory, they were voluntary, and they were made by someone just because they wanted too. Typically, for those who were pagans, the vows were made out of superstition. You've all made bargains with God growing up, "God if you do this, I promise I'll go to church forever." It's like the guy who was on the roof of his house with a hammer and nails nailing down some shingles and he started sliding off and he prayed, "Oh, God, I'm sorry; just save me and don't let me die and I promise I'll serve You forever and I'll be in church on Sunday!" Just then a nail caught Him and he looked down and said, "Never mind, Lord, the nail took care of it." Here is a guy, Jephthah, who makes a vow to the Lord saying, "Whatever comes out of my house will be dedicated completely to the Lord." There is something to notice about Jephthah before we get into the weird part; he begins his battle wisely; he begins by talking to the Lord and he begins in prayer. He knew that he's not going to have any victory without the Lord, so he makes a vow and he's in communication with God. He wants victory but he's not going to go out on his own so he has some sort of relationship with God.
There was a pretty famous coach that said these words to his players every time they lost a game: "Look, I told you what to do in order to win and not to lose and you didn't do what I told you and now you lost." This coach was very adamant that you have all of the gear needed to win the game and you have the instructions to win the game but if you don't follow the instructions, you'll never win the game. Just like an athlete who can have all of the right equipment, Christians can have all of the right equipment: Bible, church, singing, victorious Christian living courses, discipleship classes, etc., but unless we apply the instructions of the manufacturer to our lives on a daily basis, then I would say we are not going to get very far.
There is something else that I want to throw in. He made a vow and it was all his own vow; it wasn't because God told him to. Leviticus chapter 27, Deuteronomy chapter 28 and Numbers chapter 30 are all chapters that give regulations on how to make a vow to the Lord; the governing use of vows. Keep that in mind as we go on. Verse 32: "So Jephthah advanced toward the people of Ammon to fight against them, and the Lord delivered them into his hands." In verse 33 the people of Ammon were subdued. Verse 34: "When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, 'Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the Lord, and I cannot go back on it.' So she said to him, 'My father, if you have given your word to the Lord, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, because the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the people of Ammon.' Then she said to her father, 'Let this thing be done for me: let me alone for two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my virginity, my friends and I.' So he said, 'Go.' And he sent her away for two months; and she went with her friends, and bewailed her virginity on the mountains. And it was so at the end of two months that she returned to her father, and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man. And it became a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went four days each year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite."
Every now and again you come across a really weird story in the Bible. It's sort of like Ripley's Believe it or not. I was on their web site and there are some weird things on there: there was a 1500 pound pumpkin that was grown in Northern California that won the biggest pumpkin award this year. Another Ripley's Believe it or not that I found was a cow in Cambodia that was taken into custody by the police. It was wandering out in traffic causing accidents so they arrested it. Then they found the owner and arrested him. Well, the Bible has stories sort of like that - believe it or not stories; like Jacob when he put that lamb's wool on his arms and tried to smell real gnarly, like an outdoorsman and have a deep voice and he pulled a fast one over on his dad who thought he was his brother Esau; it's a weird story. Or the story of Balaam who's trying to go away from the Lord and the donkey is holding him back and finally the donkey talks to him. But this story of Jephthah really did happen and it's a weird one.
So what is going on here? Did this judge, Jephthah in carrying out his vow that he made to the Lord, kill his daughter? Some people will say yes. People who love to argue Bible stuff will love to take you to this story. They say, "Look, this man killed his own daughter for the Lord." I don't think so. I don't believe that is at all what happened and here's why. Number one, we know from reading the entire story that Jephthah had a good working knowledge of Old Testament Mosaic Law. He would have known that God strictly forbade human sacrifice. Number two, granted that it was a spiritually dark time, but if you were to have tried to kill his daughter, his neighbors probably would have stopped him. "This is madness! You're not going to do this!" Remember the story of King Saul when he vowed a vow and Jonathan had broken a vow so he tells his men, "I'm going to kill Jonathan, my son." They step in and say, "Oh, no you're not going to kill your son and we're going to make sure that you don't do that." They stopped him from doing that and that probably would have happened here. Number three, let's say he was going to sacrifice his daughter, where would he have done that at? Shiloh, the Tabernacle. Can you imagine going up to a priest with your daughter and saying, "Here's my sacrifice, kill her." What priest in his right mind, or even if there was a demented priest, there would be some priest that would hold him back. Number four, later on in the Bible, the prophet Samuel speaks of Jephthah favorably; as a good man, a Godly man and a man of faith and one that is an example of leadership. In addition, in the New Testament in Hebrews chapter 11, several judges including Jephthah are mentioned as men of great faith who trusted in the Lord for the spoiling of their enemies goods. If you look back in verse 31, his vow is, "Whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me shall surely be the Lord's and I will offer it up as a burnt offering." Look at the little word, "and"; the Hebrew scholars that I have studied will say that the word "and" could also be translated, "or". There are some translations that bear this out. So it could read, "Whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me shall surely be the Lord's or I will offer it up as a burnt sacrifice." In other words, if it's a person, I'll dedicate that person to the Lord and if it's an animal, I'll sacrifice that animal to the Lord. This is what I think happened. When she came out, he was forlorn and bewildered because he knew that he had lost his daughter because he had made a vow. So what did he do? He probably brought her to the Tabernacle to serve in a capacity of being an attendant at the Tabernacle for the rest of her life. There is a passage in Exodus 38 that refers to the serving women who assembled at the door of the Tabernacle and just as later on young Samuel will be dedicated to the Lord for his service in the Tabernacle, it seems that there were gals who were dedicated to serving their whole life. In being dedicated to the Lord, she wouldn't get married and she would be a perpetual virgin and you'll notice in the text that is the emphasis. They are not bewailing her death; they are bewailing her perpetual virginity. She's going to be dedicated, she won't be able to have her own family, she's not going to carry on the father's or the family's name, so that name goes out, sort to speak through that child in Israel.
Chapter 12 mentions two more judges and we'll just note who they are briefly. One is named Elon, the Zebulunite and another guy named Abdon, the Pirathonite. They are in the Bible, they were judges, they serve the Lord, they serve their people, and they are recorded.
The story moves on to several more chapters beginning in chapter 13 verse 1 through chapter 16. Perhaps the most famous judge of all is a guy by the name of Samson. If you grew up going to church you know the story of Samson. He's like the Superman, the Terminator, or the Transformer (this is Optimus Prime) of the Old Testament. This guy had it all physically but not morally. Imagine having the physical strength of an Arnold Schwarzenegger, (in the movies), but the morality of a Hugh Hefner all in one person. That would be an accurate description of Samson. Joseph Parker the British preacher at the time of Charles Spurgeon said, "He was an elephant in strength but a babe in weakness." This guy is unbelievable. He can rip lions' mouths apart; he can tie the tails of 300 jackals together and light them on fire to destroy the fields of the Philistines; he can carry doors or gates on his back for 38 miles (some athletes work out with weights, he worked out with doors or gates); later on he literally brings down the house, the temple of Dagon, the Philistine city; but morally he was a wimp. It's a sad story. God used him but he could have been so much more. He was in line to be especially used as an instrument. It's an interesting and fun story but it's sad. Now, I'll admit, I'd love to have had Samson as my big brother. No matter what is going on in school or no matter what they say about you, "Samson, take care of them." He might carry your car 38 miles away and dump it off somewhere.
In chapter 13, verse 1 we notice that this man's life begins very supernaturally; an angel appears to his parents. "Again the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years." This is the longest period of Philistine oppression on record. They were under the thumb of the Philistines for 40 years. We read a lot about the Philistines in this portion of the Old Testament; they were the enemy of Israel until David drove them out years later. They actually came from the area of Greece and Crete so they were Europeans and they were seafaring people. They were kicked out of that area and they migrated down south toward Egypt around 1200BC. They tried to and did invade Egypt; were kicked out of Egypt because they failed to successfully invade; so then they settled along the coast just north of Egypt in an area that today we call the Gaza Strip. They settled there and encroached upon the people of Israel. You read about five Philistine cities in the Old Testament: Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gaza, Gath, and Ekron. Those are the five Philistine cities where their strongholds were. In addition, these people had the edge on weaponry that is they knew metallurgy; they knew how to work with iron and form weapons so they definitely had a fighting edge against the Children of Israel. Verse 2, "Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, 'Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean.'" This is fascinating to me. Samson is one of the few people in the Bible whose birth is preannounced. There were only a few that had that privilege: Isaac, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and Samson. It begins very supernaturally. "'For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.'" What do we know right now? We know that God has great plans for Samson; he's to be a man of God and a man of the Spirit; but he turns out to be a man of the flesh. He was chosen by God and was preannounced before he's born; he has all that is necessary to be a man of God; but he becomes a man of the flesh. It says that he takes a Nazirite vow; that is a vow of holiness and a vow of separation. Numbers chapter 6 spells out the law of the Nazirite. It's usually completely voluntary. The Jewish Mishnah, a commentary on Judaism, says that the typical vow of the Nazirite lasted 30 days and sometimes it could last up to 100 days. On very rare occasions there was a lifelong Nazirite vow. John the Baptist, it seems, was a life-long Nazirite and Samson was the other one. There is an instance in the New Testament of another Nazirite vow. Towards the end of the book of Acts, Paul the Apostle goes to Jerusalem and he pays for the fellows in the Temple to go through their vow of separation, which was a Nazirite vow, and he takes the vow himself, probably for a 30 day period. What did a Nazirite do? Number one, he could never drink wine while he is having this vow; he could not eat grapes or raisins or grape juice; he could eat nothing from the fruit of the vine because that spoke of joy. In refraining from that he was saying, "I desire for this period of time to focus on the simple life." Number two, he didn't cut his hair; he let it grow long. In fact natzear is the Hebrew word that means the unpruned vine, hence, the term Nazirite, you're going to look like an unpruned vine, just kind of scraggily and gnarly. Why? Because that was a sign of humiliation. Number three, they could never touch a corpse. You'd ask, "Who would want to anyway?" Well, what if your relative dies and you have to attend to your relative? Under a Nazirite vow you couldn't even touch your closest relative who died. The Nazirite vow was a vow of separation and holiness.
Verse 24: "So the woman bore a son and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the Spirit of the Lord began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol." Now that is the secret of Samson's strength. Not his long hair; not that he worked out at the gym and lifted those doors every day; but the secret of his strength was that the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. This is what I want you to walk away with about Samson: he had natural advantages and spiritual privileges but having both of those is not a guarantee for success. As soon as the Lord begins to move upon you and selects you for whatever service; or even if you decide, like the Nazirite, that "I'm going to be dedicated in holiness to the Lord," (and as wonderful as that is and don't let what I'm about to say stop you from that), you need to understand something. There is an enemy on the prowl who watches and listens for such commitments to God and would love to stop you dead in your tracks. The way he'll try to stop you is he'll examine you, he actually already knows you pretty well, probably better than a lot of you know yourselves; he knows what you're weakest link or your Achilles heel is and that is where he is going to attack. So he will try to slow you down enough to pick you off. It's like if you go to the fair or Disneyland where there are those shooting galleries. You pay your money and you have your gun and you notice that the easiest ones to shoot aren't the ones that are moving fast but the ones that are standing still or barely moving. So Satan's idea is to get you to slow down enough in your commitment and find the weakest part of your character and decimate you. You say, "Well then I'm not going to commit myself very much to the Lord." Do it, because greater, stronger, and better is He that is in you than he that is in the world. You are on the winning team and don't let Satan scare you; just be aware that he knows your weak point and you should know it too.
Chapter 14, verse 1: "Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, 'I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.'" What a good little boy! It was lust at first sight; that's really what it was because it seems that he didn't even know her but she was pretty enough to catch his eye and that was the basis of his choice. Of course, many men still make the same mistake. They'll see a pretty face or a pretty body and they say, "I'm in love." No, hold on a minute. The media hasn't helped in our culture either. The media has created the virtual woman; which is really a woman that doesn't exist. So the guy says, "I know exactly who I want to marry; she'll have the IQ of an Einstein, she'll have the body of an Olympic athlete; she'll be a supermodel and a Godly Christian and miraculously she'll like me!" So he is on the prowl for something that the media says exists. By the way, stores don't help either. Have you ever looked at a mannequin? Seriously, next time you're in a store go close to a mannequin. A mannequin is the size of an emaciated human being. Anybody who is like a mannequin would be dead the next day. So he says, "I want this chick as my wife." He wanted the pretty girl. So here is what happens; what is recorded next is a series of exploits against the Philistines. Samson and his parents go back toward Timnah and as they're going on the road a lion comes out. Samson steps in and grabs the lion and rips open his jaw like it was a goat, effortlessly. Verse 7: "Then he went down and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well. After some time, when he returned to get her, he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion. And behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the carcass of the lion." When Samson returns from Timnah and he goes home, he's having a feast with 30 of his closest Philistine buddies and he decides, "I'm going to pose a riddle based on what I just saw on the road with that lion. If they can figure out the riddle that I pose, they can go on a shopping spree." He was basically going to give 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothing for whoever can guess this riddle. Here it is in verse 14: "So he said to them: 'Out of the eater came something to eat, And out of the strong came something sweet.' Now for three days they could not explain the riddle." So here are these Philistines racking their brains trying to figure this out, "What does he mean by sweet? What does he mean by fierce?" They couldn't figure it out so what do they do? Well, they are Philistines so they go to Samson's wife and they threaten her, "Lure the information out him or your dead." Verse 16: "Then Samson's wife wept on him, and said, 'You only hate me! You do not love me! You have posed a riddle to the sons of my people, but you have not explained it to me.' And he said to her, 'Look, I have not explained it to my father or my mother; so should I explain it to you?'" Based upon this little interaction, do you think this is a good marriage? "I haven't even told mom and dad yet so why should I tell you?" Doesn’t it say too, "Leave father and mother and cleave unto your wife?" I guess he forgot that part. This is not a healthy relationship. First of all she is not an Israelite and doesn't share the same worship system; it's an unequalled yoke and it's not a good relationship to begin with. Verse 17: "Now she had wept on him the seven days," (That's too much for any man to take!) "While their feast lasted. And it happened on the seventh day that he told her, because she pressed him so much. Then she explained the riddle to the sons of her people." There's a Proverb that I think fits here pretty well. Proverbs 27 says: "The continually dripping on a rainy day and a contentious woman are alike." She dripped for seven straight days and he says, "I'm done. I'll tell you anything you want to know; this is worse than enemy torture." Verse 18: "So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down: 'What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion?' And he said to them: 'If you had not plowed with my heifer,
You would not have solved my riddle!'" You know what he means by that? His heifer is his wife and this is not a compliment. A heifer is a cow who has not yet borne young and thus is very stubborn. In other words, "She dug it out of me because she wept every day!"
Samson had great potential but because he lacked the power within to fight the power without he fell. There's a nuclear submarine called the Thresher. It has the ability to go very deep under the ice all the way to the Arctic Pole submerged under the ice cap. However, one time one of these submarines went too low below its depth rating and though the hull was thick steel it imploded just like crushing a little piece of paper; even thick steel couldn't stand the pressure. However, at that same low depth there're little fish that survive; their skin is very thin and frail and yet they survive because inside that little fish is enough pressure to withstand the water pressure from outside. That's the point I want make with Samson and with us. We all face pressure from the world on a number of levels and we need power within to match the power without or we will fall - all of us. That power is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon him from time to time but because he didn't walk in the Spirit and the Holy Spirit wasn't a living vital force within him, he collapsed. Speaking of that, verse 19: "Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, took their apparel, and gave the changes of clothing to those who had explained the riddle." He paid them off. "So his anger was aroused, and he went back up to his father's house. And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man." These dirty Philistines; they plow with his heifer; he paid them off; they didn't care; and they took his wife and gave her to his best man.
In chapter 15 he is really torked! He burns their crops; ties the tails of 30 jackals or foxes together; and the Philistines retaliate by burning his wife and her family. Samson gets angrier and gets the jaw bone of a donkey and kills 1000 Philistines with it.
In chapter 16 Samson goes right into enemy territory, right down into Gaza; finds a prostitute and sleeps with her; while he's with this prostitute (can you tell what his big problem is in life by the way - women). He is surrounded by the enemies and he escapes and carries the doors of their city 38 miles away. Verse 4: "Afterward it happened that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah." She must have been a knock out and got his attention! "And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, 'Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and every one of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.'" The devil knew Samson very well. Satan and his minions, who are dispatched in this world and are living in a surveillance mode of human beings on a daily basis, had studied Samson and knew that his weakness was the opposite sex. In knowing where our weakness lies, that's where Satan will bait his hook. It says in the book of James, "Each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed." The word enticed could be translated, "to have a hook baited." If you've gone fishing you typically always hide the hook. You don't have a flashing hook and arrows pointing to it saying "this is the hook, bite here." You cover the hook with something attractive for the fish to eat. The fish in biting it doesn't consider the hook, but only the bait. That is how Satan will work with us. Just like David who saw Bathsheba; that was the bait. David didn't see the hook that night when he walked out on his house. He didn't see what was coming later on or that his two sons would follow into the same sin. He didn't think about the rape of his daughter or the death of his son; all which were repercussions because of that.
Verse 6: "So Delilah said to Samson, 'Please tell me where your great strength lies, and with what you may be bound to afflict you.'" She just comes right out and says it, "Honey, baby, I want to see you go down so just tell me right now where is the secret of your strength because I'm going to find out and take care of that." She probably had feelings for him, I don't want to doubt that, but she had more feelings for the money that was offered; that was her great enticement. Samson seemed to like this. It's like he knows what's going on because she tells him right up front, "Hi, I'm from the devil and I'm going to tempt you." "Okay good, fair enough." He knew it but he played with it and he wanted to see how fair he could take this. He says, "'If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man.'" So she binds him with seven fresh bowstrings and then she says, "The Philistines are upon you," and he snaps them like they were threads. Then she, like his other wife cries, "I can't believe it! You don't love me and you lied to me!" "What? You've been deceiving me!" "I know, but you lied to me!" Then he says, "Okay, if you bind me with new ropes, I'll be as weak as any other man." So she puts new ropes on him while he sleeps, he wakes up and breaks them like they were nothing and she weeps again crying, "You don't love me, you've deceived me, you didn't tell me." Finally he says, "Look, if you weave my hair into the web of a loom I'll be as weak as any other man. So she lulls him to sleep, does that with his hair, he wakes up, and breaks free but she's getting closer because he mentioned his hair. He wants to see how far he can go with his temptation before it's too late. Verse 16: "And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death," (I don't want to put all the blame on these ladies who did this to him because after all, he picked them!), "that he told her all his heart, and said to her, 'No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.'" Again, he could see this temptation and he seemed to like it and it shows the power of the flesh to destroy good sound judgment. We see it all the time. Now Samson's fleshly instinct was to be aroused by Delilah, she was a knockout. He still had the power of choice. You could say, "Well, he had a sexual addiction." He had the power of choice and he could have woken up and said, "You know what, you're a liar and a deceiver because these guys have been coming in three or four times - get out of here," and he could have walked away. With his life of temptation, he failed to use the power of choice.
Let me give you an illustration of temptation that I found helpful. There are three pedals on the bottom of a piano. The right pedal is the sustained pedal. That means when you hit a note it continues to ring; the dampers are off of the strings and it resonates. If you were to open up the lid of a piano and push down the right sustained pedal and not even touch a note but sing a note into the top of the piano, you will hear it sing back to you. Your voice will resonate a frequency and at least one string and maybe two will vibrate. That's how temptation works. Satan calls and we're aroused and we resonate. Now with a piano the strings are meant to vibrate but they are not meant to vibrate to a voice but to the strike of a hammer. If the piano could speak and you sang to it would tell you that it was turned on when you pushed the sustained pedaled and sang a note and it sang back at you. When you are tempted and Satan calls and you start resonating in your flesh and your impulses, what do you do? Close the lid. If you close the lid of the piano, you won't have that effect. So when Satan calls, you don't have to talk to him. "Well, Satan, let's have a conversation. First of all I want to rebuke you in the Name of Jesus. Second of all I want to say this or that." Don't even talk to him! Shut the lid. Don't talk to the devil about God or about yourself. Talk to God about the devil - pray, that's the secret of your strength. You have a choice, walk away from it. It's amazing the power that choice has.
Well, the Philistines came and in verse 20: "She said, 'The Philistines are upon you, Samson!' So he awoke from his sleep, and said, 'I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!' But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him." That's one of the saddest verses in the whole Bible. He woke up and thought, "I still got it," but he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. Sometime back I went to grab a little razor that I had. It's the kind that you recharge and I especially wanted to trim the gray hairs that seem to be coming out. So I grabbed this little trimmer, turned in on and it died; it hadn't been recharged. I didn't know that because it was sitting in the cradle but it wasn't plugged in. I grabbed it not knowing that the power had gone out of it and the battery was dead. That's what it was with Samson. His battery was empty and he had no connection of commitment or covenant with His God. The Nazirite vow had been broken. Verse 21: "Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison." (That's what slaves did; that was their task) "However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven." There's a feast for their God called Dagon. Dagon was the fish god, half man and half fish and he was in the temple. The typical Philistine temple had two floors and they would often assemble on the roof or on the second level; in the second was an image to Dagon, their god, and they would gather around it so the weight of the temple typically was toward the center. Underneath were pillars holding it up. I found an interesting article from an archeologist by the name of James Monson, Vice President of the American Institute of Holy Land Studies, who discovered an unusual construction, probably a Philistine temple he said, of adobe mud bricks that was suspended on pillars and right in the center were two wooden pillars close to each other that were beefier than the others. They were on stone bases that would maintain most of the weight of the temple where above stood that great image and all the people around it. So there is Samson, underneath and they can probably seem him through some cut out hole and he decides, "I'm going to pray once more to see if God will give me strength back again." Verse 30: "Then Samson said, 'Let me die with the Philistines!' And he pushed with all his might and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life." What a sad picture of a man who could have been a great man of God. Yes he was a judge and was mightily used to deliver the Children of Israel from the scourge of the Philistines, however, in increments. He never really got rid of the Philistines. They are going to be in the land for another hundred plus years. He could have assembled an army and they could have prayed and worshipped and got out and probably defeated all of the Philistines. It's very sad and it shows me that sin has the power to enslave like it did him - he died as a slave. The Bible says, "Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy." We're all being tempted but it doesn’t have to control you.
I had a weird dream the other night. I woke up in my dream and I was in heaven and there was Peter, you know the guy who is in all the jokes. He says welcome and is showing me around heaven and I noticed on all of the walls of heaven there are clocks and underneath the clocks are names. I asked, "Peter, what are these?" He said, "These are sin meters." "Really?" "Yes, every time somebody on earth commits a sin the clock that is registered with their name makes one complete revolution." He showed me mine and I saw some other people that I recognized which are here tonight, you were there, I saw Neil's, but I couldn't find Nick's, our worship leader. So I asked, "Peter, I see all of these people here but where is Nick Crespo's?" Peter said, "Oh, we moved his clocked down in the basement, we're using it for a fan!" Okay, I really didn't have a dream and Nick really is a good guy!
I said that the book ends really worse than how it begins and this is the ending of the book. The last few chapters read like a soap opera that make no sense at all. Most soap operas don't make any sense and this is like that. After chapter 16, we lose a steady chronology in the book of Judges. We don't know what the rest of these stories told in the remainder of the book are attached too; we have no time period; we know it's during the book of Judges but it's probably not chronological. These are three episodes, cameos, and cross sections of life to show the reader how bad it was during that time.
The first one in chapter 17 is the idolatry of a single family headed up by a man named Micah who lived in Ephraim. Chapter 18 is the idolatry of a whole tribe, the tribe of Dan who migrates from south to north and destroys a people group and set up false images. Chapter 19 is the story of the entire nation falling into idolatry and their reaction to one tribe, the tribe of Benjamin and things getting really, really bad. Let me sum up chapter 19. There was a hillbilly Levite from the mountains of Ephraim who had a concubine from Bethlehem. A concubine is like another wife and Levites were never supposed to have concubines. His concubine had an affair with another man and then ran off back home to Bethlehem to live with her dad. This hillbilly Levite goes down to Bethlehem to bring her back and stays a few days. Now he is migrating back up toward Ephraim to go to Shiloh, the house of the Lord. He stops in a little town called Gibeah and he's going to spend the night in the open square and a Gibeanite man says, "Oh, no, you're not going to stay the night here, this is a weird place; come and stay with me." So he takes his concubine and they go to stay with this man of Gibeah. While he is there, the men of the city surround the house. This is the same kind of an episode as Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot. They surround the city and they cried out because they want to have homosexual relations with the visitor, "Send that guy out, we want to have sex with him." The host says, "Oh, no, this is horrible. Look take his concubine and abuse her all night if you like and take my daughter and abuse her all night if you like." That's how bad it had gotten. These girls get kicked out of the house and are gang raped and the concubine dies. So the next morning, Verse 27: "When her master arose in the morning, and opened the doors of the house and went out to go his way, there was his concubine, fallen at the door of the house with her hands on the threshold. And he said to her, 'Get up and let us be going.' But there was no answer. So the man lifted her onto the donkey; and the man got up and went to his place. When he entered his house he took a knife, laid hold of his concubine, and divided her into twelve pieces, limb by limb, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel." Do you see what's happening? He took the corpse and cut it up into twelve pieces and wrapped it up and put it in the mail to all of the tribal heads of the twelve tribes of Israel to arouse them from their complacency and to say, "Look at how bad it is down here." So they are all ready to fight.
In chapter 20 they attack the tribe of Benjamin. I don't normally agree with Frederick Nichie the philosopher, but he said something that I do agree with. He said, "If God is dead, then everything is permissible." Think of the Atheist position taken to an extreme. "If there is no God, everything is permissible." That's how bad it's gotten in Israel. Now they gather together to fight against this little tribe of Benjamin but there's a lot of Benjamites and so it took a few tries. All of the tribes of the Children of Israel could not destroy Benjamin and finally they did. About 26,000 people were destroyed from Benjamin and only 600 remained. It almost wiped out an entire tribe in Israel.
Chapter 21, verse 24 sums it all up. "So the children of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family; they went out from there, every man to his inheritance.
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." This is what happens when the ACLU has their way. When every person does what is right in their own eyes and you systematically disassemble all of the values that were once held dear by a nation who held to moral absolutes. When year after year and generation after generation those are dismantled and tossed out, you'll have a nation where everybody does what is right in their own eyes - which is part of their agenda.
Two New York researchers concerning the United States of America after examining the value system of our nation said this: "We choose the laws of God we want to believe in. There is absolutely no moral consensus anymore in this country; we are a law unto ourselves."
Ladies and gentlemen, that's why we need to meet often; to find out what this book tells us because these are God's standards and values and at one time we were one nation under God but we are not that anymore. However, you can be one person under God; one family under God; and one man or one woman under God; but only by a willingness submission to His control in your life - walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the lust of the flesh.
Heavenly Father, as we now conclude this book and we've seen some great men and women and at the same time some disturbing episodes to show us what happens when there is no central spiritual authority and everyone gets to do whatever they want. Lord we humbly bow before You and before Your control over us. We want to be servants and we glory in being Your slaves. We don't want our own freedom, we want You to be master over us and if someone here is not that yet, I pray there would be a surrender of their life to Christ. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Additional Messages in this Series

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7/11/2007
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Destination: Genesis 1-11
Genesis 1-11
Skip Heitzig
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We begin The Bible from 30,000 Feet with a tour of Genesis Chapters 1-11. On this flight we'll travel all the way back to the very beginning - The Creation. We'll meet the first man and woman and their deceiver - the Serpent. We'll fly over God's new creation and meet a man named Noah, who God saved from His judgment - the Flood. We'll also take a look at "beginnings," the first time things are mentioned in the Bible a special significance should be given to them. The word Genesis itself is a Greek word that means "origin," the book describes the origins of creation.
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7/18/2007
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Destination: Genesis 12-50
Genesis 12-50
Skip Heitzig
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This week's flight is going to take us over the second section of Genesis, which is biographical in nature and focuses on the lives of four key people. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. We'll travel through the time era known as the Age of the Patriarchs. If you look at your window, we'll be passing over Canaan and Egypt, Canaan is modern day Israel.
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7/25/2007
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Destination: Exodus 1-18
Exodus 1-18
Skip Heitzig
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In our third tour, we'll be visiting the book of Exodus chapters 1-18. We'll get an overview of the central historical event contained in the book, the redemption of God's people from the bondage of Egypt. The setting for our journey is the nation of Egypt and Israel's wanderings through the wilderness. For this flight the key chapters to review in advance are: Exodus: 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 12 and 14.
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8/1/2007
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Destination: Exodus 19-40
Exodus 19-40
Skip Heitzig
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In our fourth tour, we'll again visit the book of Exodus, visiting chapters 19-40. The setting for this week's journey is the Sinai Peninsula where God reveals the Ten Commandments to the nation of Israel and gives specific instructions on how He is to be worshiped. For this flight the key chapters to review in advance are: Exodus: 20, 25, 26, 27, 29 and 32.
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8/8/2007
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Destination: Leviticus 1-17
Leviticus 1-17
Skip Heitzig
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In our fifth flight from 30,000 Feet, we fly over the first seventeen chapters of the book of Leviticus. This is a book on worship and describes the worship life of the nation of Israel. In this first tour of Leviticus, we'll see how the first part of the book focuses on the way to God through sacrifice and lays down the law - literally - on how man was designed to live and how man can be atoned for his sins. The key chapters to review in advance are: Leviticus: 1-5, 10, 16, 17.
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8/15/2007
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Destination: Leviticus 18-27
Leviticus 18-27
Skip Heitzig
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This week's study will take us through Leviticus chapters 18-27. The theme of Leviticus could be summed up in one word - holiness. The second section of Leviticus focuses on our walk with God through sanctification. Sanctification is the process by which we become holy or set apart for God's purposes. The key chapters to review in advance are: Leviticus 18-20, 22, 23, and 25.
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8/22/2007
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Destination: Numbers 1-14
Numbers 1-14
Skip Heitzig
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Our seventh flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us through Numbers chapters 1-14. Numbers is the fourth of the Pentateuch. In the Hebrew it is called ba-midbar, "in the wilderness." In the Septuagint version it is called Arithmoi or "numbers," and this name is now the usual title of the book. It is so called because it contains a record of the numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (1-4), and of their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (26). The key chapters to review in advance are: Numbers 3, 6, 9, 11, 13 & 14.
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8/29/2007
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Destination: Numbers 15-36
Numbers 15-36
Skip Heitzig
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In our eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet Pastor Skip will give us a tour of Numbers chapters 15-36. We'll see that the second section of Numbers covers the failure of one generation to enter the Promised Land and the reorganization of a new generation that enters into the Promised Land. Key chapters for this flight are: 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, and 27.
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9/5/2007
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Destination: Deuteronomy 1-34
Deuteronomy 1-34
Skip Heitzig
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In our ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will take us on a tour through the entire book of Deuteronomy. The Hebrews called it "Elleh Haddevarim," "These are the Words," or "Devarim," (words). Deuteronomy can be organized around three messages given by Moses while the Israelites were on the plains east of the Jordan River. It occurs after the 40 years of wandering and the Israelites are now ready to enter the Promised Land. The key word of this book is covenant and speaks of the special relationship that God has established with His people. Key chapters for this flight are: 6, 7, 31, 32, 33 and 34.
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9/12/2007
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Destination: Joshua 1-12
Joshua 1-12
Skip Heitzig
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Pastor Skip Heitzig will be our tour guide during our tenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. This week's journey will take us through Joshua 1-12. We'll get to know Joshua, son of Nun, who shared in all the events of the Exodus, and held the place of commander of the host of the Israelites. The book of Joshua describes Israel's conquest of Canaan and the first section describe how Joshua conquered the land. Key chapters for this flight are: Joshua 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 and 10.
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9/26/2007
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Destination: Joshua 13-24
Joshua 13-24
Skip Heitzig
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In our eleventh flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will give us a tour of the Promised Land. We will see how Joshua divides the land "as an inheritance to Israel," and we'll see different tribes and where they settle, both in and out of the Promised Land. Key chapters for this flight are: Joshua 13 and 20-24.
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10/3/2007
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Destination: Judges 1-10
Judges 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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In our twelfth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will once again be our tour guide as we take our first look at the book of Judges. We'll see on this tour how the nation of Israel is caught in the cycle of sin and how each cycle results in ever worsening conditions for them. We'll meet some of the characters that God divinely appointed to the office of Judge. The key chapters to review for this flight are Judges 1–3 and 6–8.
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10/24/2007
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Destination: Ruth 1-4
Ruth 1-4
Skip Heitzig
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In our fourteenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will give us a tour of the little romantic book of Ruth. We'll see how the book of Ruth shows the godly courage and love of two very different women from very different backgrounds. We'll meet some amazing characters on this flight who become key people in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
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11/7/2007
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Destination: 1 Samuel 1-15
1 Samuel 1-15
Skip Heitzig
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The fifteenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us on journey through 1 Samuel chapters 1-15. Join our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig for this exciting tour on which we'll meet a man who would be become King. This man's good looks, physical size and success in war made him an obvious choice from a human perspective, but the book of 1 Samuel highlights his tragic flaw - he disobeyed God's commands. From the ashes of Saul's tragedy God raises up another man who would become King, a man after His own heart, King David. The key chapters to review are 1-3, 8-10 and 15.
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11/14/2007
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Destination: 1 Samuel 16-31
1 Samuel 16-31
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight sixteen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. This week our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will complete our tour of the book of 1 Samuel, covering chapters 16-31. On this flight we'll meet the man who God calls, "a man after my own heart (Acts 13:22)," David son of Jesse. We'll see David as a young shepherd boy who defeats Goliath and rises to national prominence overnight. His instant popularity arouses the jealousy of King Saul and forces David into hiding.
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11/21/2007
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Destination: 2 Samuel 1-10
2 Samuel 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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Flight Seventeen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over 2 Samuel chapters 1-10. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will show us David's triumphs as King over Israel, after the death of Saul. Join us as we see how David's faith in God leads him to be victorious politically and militarily as one by one he defeats his enemies. We will also see how David's obedience leads to a new promise from God. The key chapters to review for this flight are 1-3, 5, 7 and 9.
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12/5/2007
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Destination: 2 Samuel 11-24
2 Samuel 11-24
Skip Heitzig
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In our eighteenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig will take us to our next destination, 2 Samuel 11-24. On this flight we'll see David's transgressions and the troubles that resulted from them. By presenting both the strengths and weaknesses of David, we see a complete picture of a very real person who was described as being "a man after God's own heart." The key chapters to review are 2 Samuel 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 23, and 24.
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1/9/2008
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Destination: 1 Kings 1-22
1 Kings 1-22
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight nineteen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over 1 Kings 1-22. On this flight we will see the transition that Israel undertakes as it moves from the rule of King David to the rule of his son King Solomon after his death. After Solomon turns from the Lord, we will see how Israel is divided and moved in and out of the power of many kings such as Ahab, Jehoshaphat, and Ahaziah. These chapters will reveal a story of true loyalty and disobedience to God. The key chapters to review are 1 Kings 1-3, 6, 8, 11, 12, 18, and 19.
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1/16/2008
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Destination: 2 Kings 1-25
2 Kings 1-25
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Flight twenty over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the entire book of 2 Kings. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will continue to lead us through the history of the divided nation of Israel, and how in spite of the many kings who took control of the land, we will still see a nation without true leadership. As we soar over this book, we will see first how Israel comes into captivity by Assyria, and then the triumph of Babylon over Judah. The key chapters to review are 2 Kings 1-4, and 18-21.
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1/23/2008
completed
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Destination: 1 Chronicles 1-29
1 Chronicles 1-29
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Get your travel planner out for flight twenty-one over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over the book of 1 Chronicles. On this flight we look back once again at God's promise that He would establish His reign on earth through King David. Chapters 1-9 of 1 Chronicles will look in-depth at the the royal line of David and then we will see again the reign of David in chapters 10-29. Join us as we fly at an altitude of 30,000 feet and see how God fulfilled His promises to David and how that presents a witness of His faithfulness to us as well. The key chapters to review are 1 Chronicles 17-18, 21-22, 25, and 28-29
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1/30/2008
completed
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Destination: 2 Chronicles 1-36
2 Chronicles 1-36
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Get ready for our twenty-second departure for the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip Heitzig will take us soaring over the entire book of 2 Chronicles to see the beginning of the reign of King Solomon all the way to the spiritual roller coaster after Solomon's death and the separation of the kingdoms. From the building of the temple (2 Chronicles 1-9), to the decline of the temple (2 Chronicles 10-36:16), to the destruction of the temple (2 Chronicles 36:17-23), we see a parallel to 1 and 2 Kings from a spiritual viewpoint. The key chapters to review are 2 Chronicles 17-20, and 29-32.
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2/6/2008
completed
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Destination: Ezra 1-10
Ezra 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Flight twenty-three over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the entire book of Ezra. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will point out two very important sections of this book; the restoration of the temple (chapters 1-6), and the reformation of the people (chapters 7-10). This book will continue the narrative of 2 Chronicles by showing God's faithfulness to keep His promises by returning His people to their homeland. The key chapters to review are Ezra 1-10.
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2/13/2008
completed
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Destination: Nehemiah 1-13
Nehemiah 1-13
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Get ready for our twenty-fourth departure for the Bible from 30,000 Feet. We will fly at cruising altitude over the entire book of Nehemiah with our pilot, Pastor Skip Heitzig. In this book, Nehemiah, the king's cupbearer, is given permission to lead third and final return to Jerusalem to repair and rebuild the city's walls. This book will show us a political construction (chapters 1-7), and a spiritual instruction (chapters 8-13). Join us as we see how Nehemiah gathers his spiritual strength from God during a time of great opposition.
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2/27/2008
completed
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Destination: Esther 1-10
Esther 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Get your travel planner out for flight twenty-five over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over the book of Esther. The flight will be divided into two highly important sections: the threat to the Jews (chapters 1-4), in which we will see Haman's attempt to completely eradicate the Jewish people from Persia, and the triumph of the Jews (chapters 5-10), where we will see a young girl's godly strength and fight to save her people. This flight will show us a whole new set of villains, heroes, and ultimately the ever abounding faithfulness of God towards those who follow Him. The key chapters to review are Esther 1-10.
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3/5/2008
completed
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Destination: Job 1-42
Job 1-42
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Our twenty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet takes us over the entire book of Job, the first book in the section of poetical books. This is a powerful story of a man who has everything taken from him; his health, wealth, and even his beloved family. Yet as we see God allowing Satan to test Job, God's faithfulness to those he loves is clear and Job's steadfast faith prevails. Join us this week as we see Job's dilemma (ch.1-2), the debate with his four friends (ch. 3-37), and his final deliverance (ch. 38-42). The key chapters to review are Job1-4, 8,11-12, and 29.
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3/12/2008
completed
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Destination: Psalms 1-72
Psalms 1-72
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Get your travel planner out for flight twenty-seven over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over Psalms 1-72. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us through the first seventy-two chapters of Psalms, which is divided into five books of songs, prayers, and poetry. Join us as we look at the deepest thoughts and emotions on the love and power of God. The key chapters to review are Psalms 1, 14, 23, 40, and 63.
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3/19/2008
completed
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Destination: Psalms 73-150
Psalms 73-150
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Get ready for our twenty-eighth departure of the Bible from 30,000 Feet. We will fly at cruising altitude over the last three books in Psalms as we read through chapters 73-150. We will see beautiful writings of gladness and grief, pleading and prayers, and reverence and worship. Join us as we look at the deepest thoughts and emotions on the love and power of God. The key chapters to review are Psalms 119, and 146-150.
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3/26/2008
completed
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Destination: Proverbs 1-31
Proverbs 1-31
Skip Heitzig
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Flight twenty-nine over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the entire book of Proverbs. Known for the wisdom it contains, Proverbs reveals to us how to deal with every day situations; be it love and lust, life and death, friends and enemies, and what our God loves and hates. On this flight, Pastor Skip will point out some of the most noted chapters and verses of one of the most read books of the Old Testament. The key chapters to review are Proverbs 1-2, 5, 14, 22, and 31.
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4/23/2008
completed
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Destination: Ecclesiastes 1-12
Ecclesiastes 1-12
Skip Heitzig
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Join us as we continue The Bible From 30,000 Feet, taking our thirtieth flight high above the book of Ecclesiastes. This book reveals some startling truths about how King Solomon felt about finding meaning and fulfillment in life through the things of this world, and ultimately his conclusion that "all is vanity" in a life lived without God. The key chapters to review are 1-3, 5, 8, and 12.
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4/30/2008
completed
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Destination: Song of Solomon 1-8
Song_of_Solomon 1-8
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight thirty-one over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over Song of Solomon. This poetic book gives us a glimpse into the true love that Solomon has for a shepherdess, and the love and fulfillment they share in a marriage relationship. At an altitude of 30,000 feet we will be able to see the strong tie into the fulfillment and joy seen in the love of God for His people. The key chapters to review are Song of Solomon 1-8.
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5/7/2008
completed
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Destination: Isaiah 1-39
Isaiah 1-39
Skip Heitzig
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Our thirty-second flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet will take us soaring over the entire book of Isaiah. Thought to be the greatest of all the Prophets of the Old Testament, Isaiah's ministry lasted around fifty years, and his prophecies are quoted in the New Testament more often than any other Prophet. This book shows us a mix of both prophecies of condemnation (chapters 1-39), as well as prophecies of comfort (chapters 40-66). The key chapters to review are Isaiah 1-2, 6, 40, 52-53, and 55.
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5/14/2008
completed
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Destination: Isaiah 40-66
Isaiah 40-66
Skip Heitzig
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In our thirty-third flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a flight high above the Bible to look at the second half of Isaiah. As we look through chapters 40-66, we will see the continued work of Isaiah, and how God used his gift of prophecy, both comforting and condemning, to generate change in the individuals he encountered. The key chapters to review are Isaiah 40, 52-53, and 55.
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5/21/2008
completed
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Destination: Jeremiah 1-52
Jeremiah 1-52
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Get your travel planner out for flight thirty-four over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over the entire book of Jeremiah. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us at an altitude of 30,000 feet to see the three writings of the book of Jeremiah. From the warning of judgment, to the promise of restoration, and finally the protective hand of God over those He loves, we will catch a glimpse of a man who openly allowed God to speak through him in unusual and sometimes bizarre ways to open the eyes of the people of Israel. The key chapters to review are Jeremiah 13, 18-20, 25, 31, and 52.
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6/11/2008
completed
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Destination: Lamentations 1-5
Lamentations 1-5
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight thirty-five over the Bible From 30,000 Feet. On this departure, we will look once again at Jeremiah in the book of Lamentations. We will learn why Jeremiah is referred to as "the weeping prophet," as we see him lament over the destruction of Jerusalem. This poetic book begins by revealing a man who is distressed for a nation under the consequences of its own sin, and ends with a prayer for the restoration of the nation from captivity. The key chapters to review are Lamentations 1-5.
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6/18/2008
completed
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Destination: Ezekiel 1-48
Ezekiel 1-48
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
In our thirty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a flight high above the Bible to look at the book of Ezekiel. We will witness prophecies we've seen in past books being fulfilled as we see Jerusalem at the time of the Second Babylonian Deportation. As Ezekiel the Priest is deported alongside his people, we see God continue to offer promises of restoration through him, bringing the people a sense of hope in spite of their current tribulations. The key chapters to review are Ezekiel 1-3, 7, 33-34, and 38-39.
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6/25/2008
completed
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Destination: Daniel 1-6
Daniel 1-6
Skip Heitzig
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Flight thirty-seven over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us on a tour of Daniel 1-6. In these chapters, we will see the first of the deportations of the Israelites to Babylon, and witness both the prophetic history of the book, as well as the four prophetic visions of Daniel. Ultimately, the powerful stories in Daniel reveal a man of God; unwilling to compromise and full of faith. The key chapters to review are Daniel 1-2.
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7/2/2008
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Destination: Daniel 7-12
Daniel 7-12
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Our thirty-eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us through the second part of Daniel. As we look at chapters 7-12, we will see the four prophetic visions of Daniel, and observe how his faith in God's fulfillment of prophecies led him to fervent prayer for the people of Israel. The key chapters to review are Daniel 9-12.
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7/9/2008
completed
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Destination: Hosea 1-14
Hosea 1-14
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out and place your heart in the upright position for our thirty-ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the entire book of Hosea, a man called to prophesy to the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Jeroboam. As Hosea addresses the sins of the nation, we will see how God used the graphic parallel between his adulterous wife and the unfaithfulness of Israel. The key chapters to review are Hosea 1-4, 6, 9, and 11.
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7/16/2008
completed
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Destination: Joel; Amos; Obadiah
Joel 1-3; Amos 1-9; Obadiah
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Get ready for flight forty over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will take us soaring over Joel, Amos, and Obadiah. In these three books, we take a look at the strong warnings that God gives His people against greed, injustice, false worship, and self-righteousness. We'll see God's use of these ordinary men to give extraordinary messages; we'll witness His patience, and at the end, we'll see how He stands ready to forgive and restore all who turn away from their sin. The key chapters to review are Joel 1-3, Amos 1, 3 and 7, and Obadiah 1.
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7/23/2008
completed
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Destination: Jonah 1-4
Jonah 1-4
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Our forty-first flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet will take us to the well known book of Jonah. In this book, we will see what God can do in the life of a prophet, even one who is blatantly disobedient. Despite Jonah's defiance, God strongly redirects his path and brings him to repentance through a very unique situation. By the end of the book, we will see Jonah right back where he started and bringing God glory by doing exactly what He had originally asked of him. The key chapters to review are Jonah 1-4.
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8/6/2008
completed
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Destination: Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk
Micah; Nahum; Habakkuk
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out and place your heart in the upright position for our forty-second flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the books of Micah, Nahum, and Habakkuk, three prophets used by God to criticize, comfort, and encourage the people of Judah. Through these prophets, God's people confess their sins and are confident in the salvation of God's mighty acts. The key chapters to review are Micah 1-7, Nahum 1-3, and Habakkuk 1-3.
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8/13/2008
completed
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Destination: Zephaniah & Haggai
Zephaniah; Haggai
Skip Heitzig
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Prepare yourself for our forty-third flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. This flight will take us soaring over the entirety of both Zephaniah and Haggai. The two books cover five chapters which speak of the coming Day of the Lord, His wrath upon Judah and her neighbors, and an encouragement after their return from exile to rejoice and rebuild the Temple. The key chapters to review are Zephaniah 1-3 and Haggai 1-2.
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8/20/2008
completed
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Destination: Zechariah and Malachi
Zechariah; Malachi
Skip Heitzig
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We are about to take our forty-forth flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet, journeying over the final two books of the Old Testament. In ending the Minor Prophets, we'll first look at the expanded message of rebuilding the temple as Zechariah encourages the people to look to the future reign of the Messiah. We will then speed forward 100 years after the temple was rebuilt to the book of Malachi, where God's chosen people had once again slid back into their sinful practices. After 400 years of prophetic silence, Malachi brings a message of exhortation to the people who had resettled in Jerusalem. The key chapters to review are Zechariah 9-14 and Malachi 1-4.
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9/3/2008
completed
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Destination: Matthew, Mark, and Luke
Matthew, Mark; Luke
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Get your travel planner out for our opening tour of the New Testament and flight forty-five of the Bible from 30,000 Feet! This flight will take us on a sky-high tour over the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. These three synoptic gospels give us our first glimpses of Jesus' life and death here on earth. We'll see the service, sermons, sacrifices, and sovereignty of our King as we witness the fulfillment of many of the Old Testament prophecies we have previously studied. The key chapters to review are Matthew 1-5 and 17, Mark, and Luke.
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9/10/2008
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Destination: John
John
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our forty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour through the book of John, written by the Apostle John from Ephesus between A.D. 80-90. The spiritual depth of this book and its presentation of the incarnation through the God-man Jesus Christ sets it apart from the other gospels.
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9/17/2008
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Destination: Acts
Acts
Skip Heitzig
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On our forty-seventh flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet Pastor Skip will give a tour of the entire book of Acts. Acts is the history of how Christianity was founded and organized and solved its problems. The gospel writer Luke tells the story of how the community of believers began by faith in the risen Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, the promised Counselor and Guide, who enabled them to witness, to love, and to serve.
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9/24/2008
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Destination: Romans
Romans
Skip Heitzig
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We are about to take our forty-eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. Join us as we soar over the entire book of Romans, Paul's letter to the church in Rome. This letter primarily focuses on the basic gospel message along with God's plan of salvation and righteousness for all humankind, Jew and Gentile alike. In our broad overview, we'll take a look at Paul's strong emphasis of Christian doctrine and his concern for Israel. The key chapters to review are 1, 3, 4, and 9-11.
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10/8/2008
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Destination: 1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our forty-ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet! As we look at 1 Corinthians, we'll see Paul's letters to the church at Corinth. His letters to the influential church confront their "religious" and arrogant mindsets and defend his ability to be an apostle of Christ. Through God's grace and use of Paul, he is later able to rejoice over the turnaround and acceptance of his God-given authority. The key chapters to review are 1 Corinthians 2-3 & 12-13.
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10/15/2008
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Destination: 2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
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Our fiftieth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet takes us on a flight over the second of Paul's letters to the church at Corinth. Between 1 & 2 Corinthians, the congregation was influenced by false teachers who spread opposition to Paul. Through God's grace and use of Paul, he is later able to rejoice over the repentance of the people to God and acceptance of his God-given authority. The key chapters to review are 2 Corinthians 4 & 12.
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10/22/2008
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Destination: Galatians
Galatians
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our fifty-first flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour through the book of Galatians, a clear letter to the church in Galatia about the importance of remembering grace through faith and not the law. Paul's forceful letter addresses issues of legalism in the church and the false gospel of works. The key chapters to review are Galatians 1-6.
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11/5/2008
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Destination: Ephesians
Ephesians
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Message Summary
Who are we in Christ? Grab your travel planner for flight fifty-two as we look at the book of Ephesians, Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus. In this book, Paul explains how we are the bride of Christ, a temple, and a soldier for the gospel. The unity that Paul emphasizes is described as a body working together for a common goal. The key chapters to review are Ephesians 1-6.
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11/19/2008
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Destination: Philippians
Philippians
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
In our fifty-third flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us through the book of Philippians, another of Paul's letters to the church. Referred to as "the epistle of joy," the message contained in these pages is one of long suffering and joy in the midst of Paul's time in prison. Despite his trials, we will see Paul rejoice over the church in Philippi and encourage them in unity, humility, and prayer. The key chapters to review are Philippians 1-4.
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1/7/2009
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Destination: Colossians
Colossians
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our fifty-fourth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet! On this flight, we will take a look at the young church in Colosse, and how they became the target of a heretical attack. The main theme in the book of Colossians is the complete adequacy of Christ as contrasted with the emptiness of mere human philosophy. The key chapters to review are Colossians 1-4.
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1/14/2009
completed
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Destination: 1 and 2 Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians 1-5;2 Thessalonians 1-3:18
Skip Heitzig
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In our fifty-fifth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Both books are written as an encouragement to the church in Thessalonica, exhorting them in the word, warning them against pagan immorality, and urging them to remain steadfast in the truth of the Lord. The key chapters to review are 1 Thessalonians 1-5 and 2 Thessalonians 1-3.
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1/21/2009
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Destination: 1 and 2 Timothy
1 Timothy 1-6;2 Timothy 1-4:22
Skip Heitzig
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Join us on a tour over the books of 1 & 2 Timothy as we take our fifty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. These loving letters to Timothy, a young pastor in Ephesus, reveal Paul's true love for his brother in Christ and desire to encourage him in the Word and warn against false teachings. In these letters, Paul exhorts Timothy to stand strong and "preach the word" (2 Timothy 4:2). The key chapters to review are 1 Timothy 1-6 and 2 Timothy 1-4.
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1/28/2009
completed
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Destination: Titus and Philemon
Titus 1-3:15;Philemon 1:1-25
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight fifty-seven of the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, our tour guide Pastor Skip will take us through the books of Titus and Philemon. While the letter to Titus focuses on the importance of sound doctrine and the elements of the church order, Philemon takes a more personal approach and speaks on the application of the great principles of Christian brotherhood to social life. The key chapters to review are Titus 1-3 and Philemon 1.
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2/4/2009
completed
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Destination: Hebrews
Hebrews
Skip Heitzig
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In our fifty-eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the book of Hebrews. Although the author of the book is not fully known, this well written letter reveals a man with a great desire to encourage Jewish believers to continue in the grace of Jesus Christ, instead of trying to escape persecution by bowing to the rites and rituals of Judaism. The key chapters to review are Hebrews 1-2, 6, 11, and 13.
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2/11/2009
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Destination: James
James
Skip Heitzig
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Our fifty-ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the distinctive book of James. Although grace through faith in the cross was vital for Jewish believer to understand, James addresses the issue of faith without a consistent lifestyle. This epistle adamantly declares that, "Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead, also." (James 2:26) The key chapters to review are James 1-5.
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2/18/2009
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Destination: 1 and 2 Peter
1 Peter 1-5; 2 Peter 1-3
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight sixty over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will take us on a tour of the books of 1 & 2 Peter. Peter's first letter to the church exhorts Christians to remain steadfast in their faith when under persecution, and his second letter tackles the issue of false teachers and a need for discernment against the spreading apostasy. Both books contain a level of warmth in Peter's expressions, making them a great source of encouragement. The key chapters to review are 1 Peter 1-5 and 2 Peter 1-3.
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2/25/2009
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Destination: 1 John
1 John
Skip Heitzig
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In our sixty-first flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, our tour guide Pastor Skip will take us through the book of 1 John. John writes to define and defend the nature of the person of Christ against heretical teachings affecting the early church. As John addresses the heretical teachings of the time, he also addresses the preeminence of God's love for us, and our duty to love others in return. The key chapters to review are 1 John 1-5.
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3/25/2009
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Destination: 2, 3 John and Jude
2 John, 3 John; Jude
Skip Heitzig
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Flight sixty-two over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will give a sky high view over three small but concise books, 2 & 3 John and Jude. While all three books have a different primary focus, all are written with the purpose to encourage the church to keep a strong biblical foundation. This study will take us through the importance of biblical discernment, the need to be in fellowship with other believers, as well as the vital need to keep strong in the faith. The key chapters to review are 2 & 3 John, and Jude.
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4/1/2009
completed
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Destination: Revelation 1-11
Revelation 1-11
Skip Heitzig
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With only two more flights to go, we welcome you to get your travel planner ready for the first half of the book of Revelation and flight sixty-three over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. Considered to be one of the most powerful books in Scripture, Revelation is a direct vision from God, to John, which he was asked to record for future generations. Revelation 1:19, "Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later." As the final warning to the world of the tribulation to come, it also serves as a source of hope for the Church. The key chapters to review are 1-4, 7, and 11.
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4/8/2009
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Destination: Revelation 12-22
Revelation 12-22
Skip Heitzig
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Flight sixty-four brings us to the end of the scriptures and the second and final part of the book of Revelation. Chapters 12-22 lead us into some of the most thrilling text in the entire Bible, giving us a glimpse into the seven bowl judgments, the Beast, and the future tribulation, but also bringing us great hope for God's Church. The key chapters to review are Revelation 12-14, 18, and 20-22.
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4/15/2009
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Bible from 30k Final Q&A
Skip Heitzig
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We have landed our flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. As we touch down and head to pick up the final baggage from our 65 flight series, our last sky-high view of the scriptures will includes this final Q&A Celebration. Pastor Skip and others answer questions from the last year, as well as on the spot questions from the audience.
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There are 64 additional messages in this series.