THE OLIVE, THE FIG, THE VINE, THE BRAMBLE
Suggested Reading: Judges 9
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Key Verse: Judges 9:21
And Jotham ran away and fled; and he went to Beer and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
Jotham’s parable shows wisdom. He may have been able to become a judge of Israel replacing his father Gideon, but he chose to run away because of fear. His power-hungry brother had no such fear. Abimelech became the first Israelite to claim the title “King.” How sad that the people chose the bramble to rule over them. It’s sad that Jotham, who seemed to be more like the olive or fig trees, did not step up after Abimilech was killed. Nevertheless, Jotham’s prophecy came to pass in the fires, the millstone, and the sword of the armour-bearer. We should encourage the best leaders, people of integrity and wisdom, to step up for leadership in the church, the government, and in every field of human endeavour.
The Gospel says of Jesus in John 4, “He needed to go through Samaria” (read John 4:1-42). The woman at Jacob’s Well pointed to Gerizim and said, “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain.” The Samaritan religion still flourishes. An annual sacrifice is led by their high priest on the top of Gerizim. Jesus did not run away from His destiny like Jotham. He stepped up to the Cross. He is our fearless Judge, Prophet, Priest, and King.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, You are my King! Your rulership is one of complete authority. I yield to You! Please grant me constant willingness to follow Your leadership in all things. In Your Name I pray, Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I shared a taxi some years ago, as I travelled from Amman, Jordan, to Jerusalem, with the Samaritan High Priest. He was dressed in an impressive robe and turban. His religion seemed to be a mixture of modern Judaism and an ancient form of Israelite worship. It seemed to be a very general approach to God, with a great deal of superstition. He was well aware of the story of Jesus at the well at the foot of Gerizim. The Samaritan religious leader, who lived in Jordan, was on his way to make the annual sacrifice on the top of Gerizim. How thankful I am for the final, once and for all Sacrifice of Jesus, and for the Living Water, which is not in the well at the foot of the mountain, from which I drink deeply every morning before doing this blog.
In the matter of leadership, I knew God called me to His cause. Some people around me encouraged me, but I had to step up and lead in the area into which God was leading me. I am not one to run away like Jotham did. I may be 76 years old, but I still have the strong conviction that I can do much as long as I move boldly forward, and I’m confident that the task ahead is God’s will for me. Amen!
Yours for all that God purposes to accomplish through those who serve Him,
P.S. Here is a report from the 100 Huntley Street telecast that gives a perspective on someone who stepped up for leadership. Whatever one’s views on President Obama, this is a thoughtful bit of journalism from 2009 (click here).