The firing of Joe Paterno resulted in a massive riot on the campus of Penn St. University. Paterno was a living legend in the world of college football. Students and fans were shocked that the University would end a man’s career going into his 46th year of coaching a winning program. It wasn’t just because Paterno won football games, but also because this man gave back to the community. He was well thought of and well liked.
The shock of what happened at Penn St. this week has been felt far beyond the world of college sports. In response to the firings, Al Mohler, the President of The Southern Baptist SeminarySeminary, wrote an article in his blog saying, “When the facts became known, the firings of both Paterno and Spanier were inevitable and necessary. Both men had credible knowledge that young boys were being sexually abused, and neither did anything effective to stop it…The detonation of the Penn State scandal must shake the entire nation into a new moral awareness. Any failure to report and to stop the sexual abuse of children must be made inconceivable.”
What’s more shocking; the firing of a football legend and a college president, or the outrage of people over the firing of men who had credible knowledge of young boys who were being sexually abused, and did not do anything effective to stop it.
If we take a step back and think about that for a minute I think we will find something terribly unsettling about the human heart. Indeed, before we sit in judgment over anyone else, we ought to acknowledge that our own hearts have led us to overlook what is right and good, even reject what is right and good, in exchange for something that is neither – evil. All of us have sinned. God is good, righteous, loving, just and He is infinite and holy in each of those attributes, and yet, we have chosen to be against Him and all that He is by doing things that He is clearly against and rejecting things that He is clearly for. No matter how well our lives are thought of by others or ourselves, God is to be praised precisely because He will not overlook any such sin committed by us.
The Old Testament book of Judges is an incredibly relevant book for us today. Judges is the account of Israel’s history as they enter into the land that God had promised that He would give to them as Abraham’s descendants. But while it is historical, it is primarily concerned with what God was doing in these historical events. In particular, Judges is concerned with how God’s special relationship with His people is expressed in both judgment and salvation. One thing is for sure by the end, sin meets God’s judgment, making us utterly dependent upon His mercy.
Please join us on Sunday mornings as we look at what God’s Word has to say about our predicament and His solution in our new sermon series in the book of Judges.
“Here We Go Again…”
Nov 20 Another Option Judges 3-5 Nov 27 The Word Will Set Us Free Psalm 12 Dec 4 Another Try Judges 6-8 Dec 11 Another Disappointment Judges 9-12 Dec 18 Another Chance Judges 13-16 Dec 25 Christmas Luke 2:39-56 Jan 1 Only One Hope Judges 17-21