Full text of Zac Poonen’s teaching on the Book of Judges and Ruth which is part of the popular series called Through The Bible.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Zac Poonen – Bible Teacher
Let’s turn now to the Book of Judges.
The Book of Judges. Judges, chapter 1. Now, Judges is describing the backslidden state of Israel, immediately after this very powerful victory and triumph they had in the Book of Joshua over a period of number of years. And again we see the same lesson that we have seen before, that everything depends on God’s people having a good leader.
Wherever there were good leaders — whenever there were good leaders, Israel prospered. When Moses was leading Israel, everything was okay. When Moses went up to the mountain for 40 days — just 40 days! – they started worshiping idols, made a golden calf. Even Aaron could not control them.
Most leaders in Christendom are not strong enough to control God’s people, to keep them in the straight and uncompromising path, because those leaders don’t know God themselves. They seek popularity, like Aaron. And so a person who seeks popularity can never be a man of God, can never lead God’s people. Moses never sought popularity, neither did Joshua.
But by the time of the Judges, Joshua had died and there was nobody there to replace him.
AND SO WHAT HAPPENED?
We read in chapter 2 and verse 7…
Judges 2:7: “the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD which He had done for Israel.”
And then Joshua died.
And then: that generation also died.
“And then there arose another generation, (Judges 2:10), who did not know the LORD”– That was the problem — “nor the work which He had done for Israel.”
The problem was: there was nobody who knew God. And I want to tell you, after many years and years of moving around so many Christian groups, I have to say I have seen very few people who know God, very few people who can say, like Elijah, as the Lord God lives before whom I stand.
Most people in Christian work today are professional preachers. They studied the Bible somewhere, they got a degree and they’re going out to serve God, or they got a zeal. There may be sacrifice, there may be zeal, but all that will not help if you don’t know God.
Yeah, these were Israelites in the book of Judges. And we can say our church has got believers. But what type of believers? The apostles were also believers, and the people in your church are also believers. But what a difference between spiritual believers and carnal believers?
A man of God realizes it’s better to have a small church of spiritual believers than a large one full of carnal people. That’s like saying it’s better to have 1000 watt bulb than 20 zero watt bulbs. You agree with me or not? That’s what I mean.
You’re the light of the world. The intensity of that light depends on how much you know God. And if the leader doesn’t know God, the people don’t know God either. The people know the Bible. You can study the Bible and tell people all about it and they get to know the Bible just like teaching chemistry or physics or some subject like that in a classroom. But that doesn’t get people to know God. You can’t teach people to know God by just giving them information, and you can’t know God that way yourself. You got to go through trials, you got to humble yourself, you got to have a yearning in your heart. It’s in the hours of the night that we come to know God, not sitting in a classroom.