If you or your family submit to God as King, your story and your family’s story will ultimately be good. But if you reject his kingly authority or just pay him lip-service, you and your family’s story will definitely be bad. If your heart moves away from God farther and farther, your life’s story turns from bad to worse.
We don’t want our life’s story to end up badly. We also don’t want to hear this kind of stories. We cover our child’s ears and don’t want them to hear a story full of hate and violence. We cover our child’s eyes and don’t want them to see a movie with explicit sexual content. We choose the stories we want to hear and see and experience.
But when we talk of the stories of the Bible, it’s a different matter. It is God who chose what stories to include. God chose every story to open our eyes and ears that we may see and hear and think about those stories. There are stories in the Bible we rather not tell our children and we ourselves avoid reading because of its graphic portrayal of human propensity to commit violence and sexual immorality. When it comes to the Bible, we don’t choose what to read and what not to read. God chooses! And he wants us to read and reflect on all the scenes in this Grand Story.
I want to tell you four stories. All these stories concern a little town called Bethlehem in Judah, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The first two are hard to listen to. The last two are sweet to our ears. And they become sweeter when you pay attention to the first two. The first two are stories filled with darkness. The last two bring light out of that darkness.
Click here (or the thumbnail on the left) to read, listen, download or share the sermon God Brings Light Out of Darkness. This sermon is based on the story of Judges 17-21 and Ruth 1-4. Story guides and story graphics are also available for download.