Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tuesday - Judges 9 - The Parable and Prophecy of Jotham

Many of the stories in Judges are apparently included to show us what a society can look like when God has been expelled. Of course, we could just look around us to see THAT today, but these classic stories serve us wonderfully as sober illustrations.  If we thrust God out of our schools, homes, governments and churches... out of our lives altogether, the future begins to look very bleak very quickly.

Unlike his worthy father Gideon, Abimelech was a very ambitious man.  We may view ambition positively in our day, but Abimelech's ambition was Machiavellian and highly self-centered. After setting the stage for himself, Abimelech seized power in Israel by killing 69 of his 70 brothers. He had arranged with his family on his mother's side to take control after his father's family was eliminated. But, God provided for justice by protecting Gideon's youngest son, Jotham. When Jotham (who had been hiding) realized how everything had panned out, he spoke a parable about the rise of his half-brother into power. Jotham compared his father Gideon to a wonderful olive tree and Abimelech to a feeble thorn­ bush. In his analogy he called for God to bring justice upon the men of Shechem and upon Abimelech by causing them to destroy each other.

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