THE HAUNTED KING – Mark 6:14-29

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on June 28, 2015 under 2015 | Be the First to Comment

Message preached Sunday, June 28, 2015 from Mark 6:14-29

Theme: Hard-heartedness toward God’s commands eventually leads us to confusion of soul.

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THE NEW COVENANT – Hebrews 8:7-13

Posted by Angella Diehl, Webmaster on June 24, 2015 under PM Bible Study | Be the First to Comment

PM Home Bible Study Group; June 24, 2015

Hebrews 8:7-13

Theme: In the light of the Lord Jesus’ High Priestly Mediatorship, the writer highlights the glories of the New Covenant.

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CHILDREN & HEIRS – Romans 8:15-17

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on June 21, 2015 under 2015 | Be the First to Comment

Message preached Father’s Day Sunday, June 21, 2015 from Romans 8:15-17

Theme: This passage shows us the blessings of being fully adopted by the greatest of all Fathers.

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A FAULTY FINISH – Judges 8:22-32

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on June 17, 2015 under AM Bible Study | Be the First to Comment

AM Bible Study Group; June 17, 2015 from Judges 8:22-32

Theme: The closing story of Gideon shows how even God’s most faithful servants need to take care to end well.

(All Scripture is taken from The New King James Version, unless otherwise indicated).

One of the most pivotal moments in the history of our nation’s presidency occurred before General George Washington became president. Congress was broke, and the continental army that had given so much to defend the new nation remained uncompensated—and would, most likely, remain unpensioned. Some said that a disaster would fall upon post-war America unless Washington seized control of the government and declared himself king. His army would certainly have been supportive. But as tempting as it might have been for any other man, Washington refused to become America’s King George I, and urged his soldiers to be patient and sacrificial and look ahead to what would be good for future generations. Thus he refused the kingship that was being offered to him, and preserved the prospect of a true constitutional republic. If he had done the natural thing, and had surrendered to the temptation of a monarchy, our history would have been a very different one.

The same offer was made to Gideon. After the great victory God brought about through him, the nation offered him the kingship. He refused the offer—and yet, sadly, the story had a sad finish. The end of this great man’s story teaches us that even God’s most faithful servants need to take care to end well.

Note that . . .


A. After the remarkable victory over the overwhelming forces of the Midianites—in which God miraculously gave Gideon’s army of 300 the victory over 135,000 solders—we’re told, “Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, ‘Rule over us, both you and your son, and your grandson also; for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian’” (v. 22). When we read of “the men of Israel”, it’s probably best to assume that what is meant is mainly the northern tribes—and not all of the tribes. But still, what an offer! This wasn’t merely the offer of a kingship. This was the promise of a monarchy—so that Gideon’s son and grandson would rule after him!

B. It may have been a very great temptation. After all, God promised—way back in the law of Moses—that there would come a time when the nation would not be ruled any longer by judges, but by kings. God even established rules in His law for the conduct of kings (See Deuteronomy 17:14-20). Since God had done so much through him already, it would have been natural for Gideon to think that this was his moment. “But Gideon said to them, ‘I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you’” (v. 23). What a noble refusal. He even affirmed to them that God was to be their Ruler. But do you notice that they spoke of his grandson, and that Gideon refused the monarchy only up to his son? It may be that he offered only a “qualified” refusal. After all, as we read on, we find that he named (or possibly re-named) his son through a Shecemite concubine ‘Abimelech’ (v. 31)—which means “My Father is King”. What’s more, we find later that this son from a concubine sought to overthrow the apparently recognized authority of his seventy half-brethren (9:1-5).

C. It seems that Gideon—all too human as he was—couldn’t entirely resist the allure of power. He may have ‘refused’ it in such a way as to at least allow for it to be a possibility later. That reminds us of a danger that even the strongest Christian might face. We reject a sinful desire now because it would be very unbecoming to give in to it in the present—but we might leave a space in our life for us to be able to come back to it later. We should remember the warning of Romans 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”


A. He refused the monarchy, but he did ask for something else. We’re told, “Then Gideon said to them, ‘I would like to make a request of you, that each of you would give me the earrings from his plunder.’ For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites” (v. 24). The Ishamelites were an Arab people who were famous for wearing much jewelry; and so, when he asked for just the earrings, he was actually asking a considerable amount. “So they answered, ‘We will gladly give them.’ And they spread out a garment, and each man threw into it the earrings from his plunder. Now the weight of the gold earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold” (vv. 24-26a)—which would have totaled anywhere between 40 to 60 lbs. in weight! This was a tremendous treasure! And they even gave him more then he asked; “besides the crescent ornaments, pendants, and purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains that were around their camels’ necks” (v. 26b).

B. Now; there was nothing wrong in this in and of itself. Consider that he had been offered the monarchy, but settled for the earrings. And consider that they were willing to give what he asked and much more beside! Gideon had been a poor man; but in very short order, he became the wealthiest man in Israel. But look what we’re told he did with it: “Then Gideon made it into an ephod and set it up in his city, Ophrah” (v. 27a). He certainly was no longer “weakest in Manasseh” and “least” in his father’s house (6:15). But what he did was fashion it into an ephod—a vest like garment that was typical of the priest of the temple (see Exodus 28:1-35; 39:1-26). This must have been a marvelously decked garment! And while receiving the booty was not wrong, what he did with it was.

C. We’re told, “And all Israel played the harlot with it there. It became a snare to Gideon and to his house” (v. 27b). Why was this so? It may have been because it was put up in a museum somewhere in his hometown, and people began to worship it. But some scholars believe that it was most likely because he meant for it to be an item not to so much be worshiped, but by which to worship. The tribe of Ephraim was not particularly strong or respected at this point (see 8:1-3); and it was in Ephraim that the tabernacle was located and that the priesthood served. If the priesthood was no longer considered strong—and if Gideon had come to think of himself as a unique instrument by which God spoke—then it may be that the ephod was an indication that he tacitly rejected the kingship but subtly claimed the priesthood in violation of God’s law that the priesthood could only be through the sons of Aaron. He may have been ensnared by the pride that ensnared a later and otherwise godly king—King Uzziah. Uzziah dared to bring incense into the temple where only the priest should go (see 2 Chronicles 26:16-21). And if the people went along with Gideon in this error, then it was a cause for spiritual ‘harlotry’ for them as well as a stumbling block for Gideon. What a dangerous thing a little pride is in the servants of God!


A. Finally, we’re told, “Thus Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted their heads no more. And the country was quiet for forty years in the days of Gideon” (v. 28). In spite of his faults at the end, God still used him and brought about a time of peace for His people. And Gideon himself was able to return home and enjoy the blessings of his new wealth. The Bible uses his old nickname of “Baal-Fighter” when it says, “Then Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house (v. 29).

B. But then comes the seeds of future trouble. We’re told, “Gideon had seventy sons who were his own offspring, for he had many wives” (v. 30). The Bible honestly admits polygamy in its heroes; but it never condones it. And here, we see the growing prosperous living of Gideon in that seventy sons come from many wives. These sons, as we pointed out earlier, might have served in a kind of ‘monarchy’—more along the lines of a nepotistic ruling council than anything else. And yet, Gideon also had a girlfriend—a concubine—on the side. She was very possibly a Canaanite woman. “And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, whose name he called Abimelech” (v. 31). We’re told, “Now Gideon the son of Joash died at a good old age, and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites” (v. 32). But Abimalech would rise afterward, kill all those seventy sons, and seek to make himself dictator over his people. The next generation paid dearly for Gideon’s end-of-life indulgences. “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward” (3 John 8).

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TRAVELING LIGHT – Mark 6:6b-13

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on June 14, 2015 under 2015 | Be the First to Comment

Message preached Sunday, June 14, 2015 from Mark 6:6b-13

Theme: The specific commission that Jesus gave to the twelve teaches us principles we can apply in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

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‘SUCH A HIGH PRIEST’ – Hebrews 8:1-6

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on June 10, 2015 under PM Bible Study | Be the First to Comment

PM Home Bible Study Group; June 10, 2015

Hebrews 8:1-6

Theme: After describing Jesus’ superiorities over the Old Covenant priesthood, the writer stresses the glorious truth that “We have such a High Priest”.

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