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The Sad Case of Vanishing Values (9 of 10)
BRINGING AMERICA BACK TO GOD
Dr. Stan Coffey
Israel was in a time during the period of Judges when values had vanished. When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments as recorded Exodus, He had called them out of Egypt, and they had that marvelous deliverance through the Red Sea. God gave to Moses the Ten Commandments, which became the foundation of all of their law, of all of their society - not only their society, but also for the judicial systems of most of the nations of the world. Even today much of the judicial systems of the countries of the world, including the United States, is based on the Ten Commandments. As we look at the practice of faith in our nation, we have to say that many of the values that we grew up with - honesty, integrity, hard work, truth, justice, sacrifice, and family - have begun to fade in our country. So we have to ask the question, where have all the values gone, and what happens to a nation when values seem to vanish?
I have three things I want to say about that. When a nation has lost its values, when values have vanished - and you have an example of it here in Judges 17:6: "In those days Israel had no king" - in other words, the Lord was not the King of Israel - "and every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Certainly that's what you see in the nation of Israel and in America today as well.When values are gone, you find FAMILIES WITHOUT FOUNDATION. Judges 17 tells a story of a man named Micah. "A man named Micah from the hill country at Ephraim said to his mother, 'The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse, I have the silver with me; I took it.' Then his mother said, 'The Lord bless you, my son'" (Judges 17:1-2). What had happened is that she had this eleven hundred shekels of silver, and she noticed they were stolen, and she did not know who had stolen them. So she uttered a curse on whoever had stolen her silver. Then her son comes forward and says, "Mother, I'm the one who's taken that silver." He gets a guilty conscience and says, "I took it." But rather than rebuking her son for stealing - "Thou shalt not steal" - she blesses him. She's so glad to get the money back that she doesn't rebuke the boy or point out his error.
"'The Lord bless you, my son.' Then when he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, 'I solemnly consecrate my silver to the Lord for my son to make a carved image and a cast idol. I will give it back to you.' So he returned the silver to his mother, and she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who made them into the image and the idol, and they were put in Micah's house. (Judges 17:2b-4)Here is family who's up to its ears in religion. In fact, she says, "This is silver that I've dedicated to God." But God has said, "You shall worship no graven image." God has said, "You ...
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