All Articles For Strength of Youth

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Authority. We begin a series of articles unpacking that word, with this article spelling out the ABCs of the topic. Why a series on this subject? First, this matter of authority is foundational. Q&A 93 of the Heidelberg Catechism says that the Ten Commandments are divided into two tables: “…the first of which teaches us how we must behave towards God; the second, what duties we owe to our neighbor.” Within that second table of the law, the fifth commandment is first. And that fifth commandment concerns authority. The order of the commandments is not arbitrary. In God’s wisdom, it...

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Stressed by all the approaching due dates of his college classes, Johnny comes home wanting only to escape into his video-game adventures for a while. Molly’s mind swirls from all the drama of her high school relationships and yearns again to lose herself in a fantasy novel. Mother, her mind filled with chores, errands, and concerns about the children, cannot wait to take a break and scroll through the newsfeed on her phone or tablet. Dad, troubled by problems at work and controversy at church, just wants to drown out his thoughts with something on the HD big screen and...

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Last time, we considered Jephthah’s vow. Samson was judge at the same time as Jephthah. Jephthah dealt with the Ammonites in the east. Samson had to do with the Philistines in the west. The Philistines, a warlike and idolatrous people, occupied a strip of land by the Mediterranean Sea to the southwest of Israel. Samson was born about the time the Philistines began to oppress Israel. Let us study together the history in Judges 14, focusing on one clause in verse 4: “he [Samson] sought an occasion against the Philistines.”   Peace with the Philistines Israel was living peaceably with...

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Communication [keh-mew-neh-ka-shon], noun: a process of sharing information with another person in such a way that the sender’s message is understood in the way he intended it to be understood. In a previous article, we introduced the subject of communication. We looked at the nature of communication (using the definition above), and we considered what a precious gift communication is. The introduction continues with this article. Before turning in future articles to specific principles of good communication, I want in this article to continue to lay the groundwork by considering the importance of communication and the source of it.  ...

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The last judge we met in our series was Gideon. Jephthah was one of the judges that came after Gideon. Israel had apostatized—again. Faithful Jehovah, in chastisement, sold them into the hand of enemies, one of which was Ammon. Jehovah raised up Jephthah as judge to fight against the Ammonites. Jephthah was a Gileadite, the son of Gilead, and born of a harlot. Please read the first part of Judges 11 for context. Our concern is the vow that Jephthah made before going to war against Ammon—the latter half of Judges 11.   Serious This vow of Jephthah was serious....

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If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep...

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We are all communicators. Already as babies we begin to communicate what we want by pointing, crying, and stammering our first words. As we get older, our ability to communicate becomes more sophisticated, and we spend a large portion of our days talking, texting, and tweeting. While it’s true that we are all communicators, it’s equally true that we are not very good communicators. To give just a small sampling of our communication errors, we say things that aren’t true, we say true things at the wrong time and in the wrong way, and we gossip and backbite. How many...

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Previous article in this series: October 15, 2020, p. 44. The book of Judges brims with instruction for the church’s youth. Last time, we noticed the idea, “…every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). With this article, we continue drawing lessons from the book of Judges. We find ourselves in the history of Gideon, following the deaths of judges Shamgar, Deborah, and Barak. Israel had again apostatized. As was repeatedly the case, God’s people slid into the sin of idolatry. Jehovah, in chastisement, sent the Midianites, Amalekites, and children of the East to oppress...

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These men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the Lord shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness. II Samuel 3:39b King David earnestly sought the unity of the church of Israel. The nation had been divided; the church…split. A full eighty percent of Israel still followed a king from the line of Saul. With a heart after God’s own heart, King David waited—while yearning for the joining of twelve tribes under the one true God and His anointed king. But there were great obstacles to this unification. General Abner’s devious politicking had delayed it...

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Churchman—although not entirely unheard of, it’s not a word that we use very often. It refers to a man of the church, a man whose whole life revolves around the church, a man who dedicates himself to the service of the church. The church today needs churchmen. Her need is not simply for members who are male, but for male members who are truly men, that is, strong men of God. Especially is this need urgent in the evil days in which we presently live. The church throughout history has always needed strong men, but that need is all the...

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