The Lord Raised Up
Just as the moral decline of our culture nosedives, the church is struggling with what some have called “the graying of the flock.” Today, less than half of our population attends some kind of religious service, down from three-quarters just a short time ago. God’s people have always struggled not to compromise with the world, and when they did in the time of Judges, God would raise up a deliverer to save them–when they cried out to Him (Judges 3:7-11).
I. Joshua 14:6-15. When Joshua was dividing the land, Caleb reminds them that the two of them as good spies many years ago were all that was left of the generation that had come out of slavery in Egypt, and so Joshua gave Caleb Hebron. Later Caleb gave Othniel his daughter in marriage … and springs. It is this Othniel that God raises up when the people cry out to Him when they realize their worldliness.
II. Isaiah 43:3-11. God alone would be the Savior of His people. Before (Matthew 1:21) and at (Luke 2:10-11) His birth, Jesus–God in the flesh–was hailed as our Deliverer. The time and circumstances were right for our salvation (Galatians 4:4-5), and our redemption was accomplished on the cross (Ephesians 2:4-6). But, in fulfillment of prophecy (Joel 2), we too needed to cry out for it (Acts 2:21).
III. 1 Corinthians 12:18. So, where will our next deliverers come from who will lead us to Christ? This is the wrong question as it’s not our job. God reserves those who will serve Him (1 Kings 19:18) and knows who are His (2 Timothy 2:19). From the very stones He could raise them up (Luke 3:8) if He wanted to. He’s arranging the parts of the body where He needs them to be. Is He raising you up?
It could be He’s arranging you in the place where you are to lead many to Christ. People are crying out for deliverance all around us. Will you step up to help them?