I finally updated all of the Upper Room’s online sermons. And I’ve got a few of my own to post… Here they are collated by series. Here are my 3 sermons in Judges. Although I taught 8 times in Judges, I only actually had 3 “sermons”. The others were different kinds of studies.
1 – Judges Part 7, “Deborah and Barak”
2 – Judges Part 13, “Samson: The Life Ruled by Sight”
Dr. Marion Taylor
13 December 2011
Land and Landlessness in Genesis-2 Kings
The theme of land and landlessness is central in the books of Genesis to 2 King. In fact, it might even be said that it is a central theme in the whole Hebrew Bible, as well as in Israel’s history in general. It would be quite difficult to give an account of the major points in Israel’s history without reference to the land, and the place it held in Israel’s identity as a people and even in relationship with the Lord. Abraham’s call in Genesis 12 is at the root of this. In verses 1 to 3, the Lord makes several promises to Abraham after commanding him to leave his homeland and to travel to the land which the Lord will show him. This land is revealed to be the land of Canaan, which the Lord also then promised to give to Abraham’s offspring.
And so, in these verses in Genesis, we can already begin to see the theme of land taking a central role in the history of the people of Israel even before it has even completely taken shape. We have an imperative from the Lord to go to this land, accompanied by several promises, essentially to be blessed and to be a blessing to the world. At this point in the story, however, land seems to have been of secondary consequence; that is, it would seem that the Lord’s promises of blessings came as a result of Abraham’s obedience to leave his family and his homeland to travel to Canaan. The story continues and Abraham does not stay there, but is forced to leave due to a famine. He travels to Egypt where he has an unfortunate incident (also unfortunate because it would not be his last) with lying about his wife. Upon his return to Canaan, he and his nephew Lot separate and he resettles in Canaan. At this point, the Lord seems to have elevated the land to be a part of his promise to Abraham. In Genesis 13:14-17 the Lord restates the promise to Abraham. Continue reading →
My fourth paper of 2011-2012 (Haven’t gotten my third paper back yet) … Grade received: A-
Dr. Marion Taylor
1 November 2011
Inductive Study on the Book of Judges
Part 1: Table of Contents
Judges 1:1 to 3:6
Opening: Introducing the Cycle of Israel’s Apostasy
Judges 3:7 to 3:11
The First Cycle: Othniel
Judges 3:12 to 3:31
The Second Cycle: Ehud and Shamgar
Judges 4:1 to 5:31
The Third Cycle: Deborah and Barak
Judges 6:1 to 10:5
The Fourth Cycle: Gideon (and Abimelech)
Judges 10:6 to 12:15
The Fifth Cycle: Jephthah
Judges 13:1 to 16:31
The Sixth Cycle: Samson, and the Turning Point
Judges 17:1 to 21:25
Ending: Israel’s Apostasy is Complete
Part 2: Analysis of the Book’s Structure
The book of Judges can be neatly divided into three major section, an opening section which contains two introductions to the book, a middle section containing six degrading cycles of apostasy, and an ending which contains stories that illustrate Israel’s apostasy. This structure can be seen in the clever use of two phrases “And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” and “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes”. These two phrases mark are introduced at turning points in first two sections of the story, and then go on to serve as a dividing points for the proceeding section.
The opening section can be further divided to two parts: Judges 1:1 to 2:4, and Judges 2:5 to 3:6. Both of these parts begin with the death of Joshua and both serve as introductions to the cycle of apostasy that will follow in the middle section. The first part seems to be a point-by-point presentation of the events following the death of Joshua. It shows the Israelites at first succeeding in conquering the land, but slowly falling into sin and compromise and ultimately failing in the conquest. The second part serves as a commentary of the first, introducing the key phrase which will dominate the middle section: “And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” (2:11). The basic plot structure of the book is further introduced as the author explains that the Lord both gives Israel over to plunderers, but also raises up judges, or saviours, to deliver them from oppression.