Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4 - Judges 9:14

So all the trees said to the bramble,
"You come and reign over us."
Judges 9:14
Judges 9 contains a parable:
  • The trees want a king to reign over them.
  • First they ask the olive tree to reign over them, but the olive is too busy producing oil "to sway over the trees."
  • Then they ask the fig tree to sway over them, but the fig also is too busy bearing fruit.
  • Next they ask the vine -- which is not even a true tree. But even the vine is too busy producing grapes and wine.
  • Finally they ask the bramble ... who is honored. And the bramble invites all the trees to do the impossible: find shade in his shabby brush.
The point of the parable? In a literal sense, the "shabbiest" and least legitimate of Gideon's children, Abimelech, was seeking power by attempting to establish a monarchy. In a more figurative sense ... Why do we as humans constantly seek to sway over other trees? Why don't we simply go out, use our natural gifts, and bear good fruit.
Now, it should be mentioned that many governmental leaders do indeed do wonderful things! And often the beginning motive is indeed noble -- "I want to help people." But why do governments seem to have such an overabundance of brambles? Because power corrupts. The initial motives usually do begin as noble, but in trying to please all, compromises and half-truths seem to become a hazard of the job. So does the inflation of self-importance and ego. And soon the hearts of too many good leaders become thorny.
We need to remember two things:
  1. First, why do we keep looking for human leaders to solve all our problems. God is our king, not the president, governor, or earthly king.
  2. Second, we need a needle to keep deflating our own egos. Other people's opinions of us are not what matters. We play for an audience of One. And our gifts and talents and fruits are to be devoted to his glory. 
In Christ's Love,
a gooseberry
(an odd little fruit
but fully devoted to him)  

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