“And the men of Israel turned back against the people of Benjamin and struck them with the edge of the sword, the city, men and beasts and all that they found. And all the towns that they found they set on fire.”
This verse summarizes what is, unfortunately, a theme throughout the book of Judges, the effects of sin and evil. Specifically here in Judges chapter 20, we see tens of thousands of people dying as a horrible picture of the downward spiral of sin.
While sin is always a big deal, it is easy to desensitize ourselves to the seriousness of sin.
And as I read that verse, and I want to lead us to pray according to it, I can’t help but to think about the dangerous tendency we all have to minimize sin, to treat sin like it’s no big deal. And we wouldn’t say we don’t think sin’s a big deal, I don’t think. But if we’re not careful, we can have a thought, desire, say a word, do something or not do something that God has told us to do and kind of brush over it like, “Oh, that’s no big deal.” And we can easily desensitize ourselves to the seriousness of sin, when sin is always a big deal.
Think about Romans chapter five. From one sin, one sin, talking about Joseph’s three. They ate a piece of fruit, one sin. From that one sin came condemnation for all men. From one sin came condemnation for every single living person and all the effects of sin in the world since that day, all the world wars and murder and violence and natural disasters and tsunamis and earthquakes and hurricanes, and all kinds of pictures of evil, natural evil, moral evil, it all came from one sin, and you and I have committed thousands of them.
God, help us to realize the seriousness of sin and to run from it. God, please, just as you taught us to pray, Lord Jesus, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, we pray that in a fresh way right now, today in our lives. As we go into this day, as we continue this day, or we prepare for tomorrow, God, we pray lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil. Guard our every thought. Guard our every desire, our every word, our every action. God, please help us to hate sin, to run from it. God, when we give in to temptation, when we sin, God, we pray that we would be quick to confess it, to honestly come before you, see the seriousness of sin against you, to confess it to receive your grace.
Jesus, we praise you for your grace. We praise you that we do not have to pay the price for our sin. God, thank you for sending your son to die on the cross so we can be forgiven of our sin and we can have eternal life, that we wouldn’t have to experience eternal death, which is what our sin deserves. All glory be to your name for your grace. And so God, we pray today and every day, help us to live in the grace you have bought for us, in the victory over sin you have given to us. We praise you for your Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus, living inside of us to enable us to overcome every single temptation we face. So help us, we pray, today, tomorrow, every day to run from sin and to live in the righteousness you have made possible for us, Lord Jesus.
We pray all of this in your name according to Judges chapter 20, verse 48. And even as we pray this, oh God, we pray that you’d help us to make the good news of your salvation from sin known around us today, among people who are right now under your judgment in their sin, if nothing changes will experience eternal judgment for their sin. God, we pray that you would change that. God, we pray that you would use us to share the gospel with them, that they might know the forgiveness of sin.
And God, we pray for the spread of your salvation among all the peoples of the world, among the Northern Kurds of Turkey, 9 million of them, hardly any followers of Jesus. 9 million. God, we pray, cause the Northern Kurds of Turkey to know your grace and your love and your salvation from sin through Jesus, and spend our lives and our families and our churches toward that end, that the nations might know, starting with people right around us and going to people far from us, that they might know your salvation from sin and evil. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.