Who will lead us?
Judges 9:7-16,20 NLT
When Jotham heard about this, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted, “Listen to me, citizens of Shechem! Listen to me if you want God to listen to you!
Once upon a time the trees decided to choose a king. First they said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king!’ But the olive tree refused, saying, ‘Should I quit producing the olive oil that blesses both God and people, just to wave back and forth over the trees?’
“Then they said to the fig tree, ‘You be our king!’ But the fig tree also refused, saying, ‘Should I quit producing my sweet fruit just to wave back and forth over the trees?’
“Then they said to the grapevine, ‘You be our king!’ But the grapevine also refused, saying, ‘Should I quit producing the wine that cheers both God and people, just to wave back and forth over the trees?’
“Then all the trees finally turned to the thornbush and said, ‘Come, you be our king!’ And the thornbush replied to the trees, ‘If you truly want to make me your king, come and take shelter in my shade. If not, let fire come out from me and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’”
Jotham continued, “Now make sure you have acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelech your king, and that you have done right by Gideon and all of his descendants. Have you treated him with the honor he deserves for all he accomplished?
. . . But if you have not acted in good faith, then may fire come out from Abimelech and devour the leading citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo; and may fire come out from the citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo and devour Abimelech!”
Reflection . . .
This is such a great Parable. What’s the point of if?
It well describes the way people think and act. The people wanted a ruler and instead of choosing someone honourable, productive and able to benefit the people, they chose someone (a relative) who only wanted fame, power and would eventually destroy them.
Let’s make sure those we put in places of authority don’t just say what we want to hear, rather that they do what is honourable, productive and benefits those they have authority over — they must have a good track record!
There are levels of authority all around us and we need to act in good faith as we give them authority over others. Of course, there will be times where we are often not in agreement or able to change the majority’s wishes or lack of good faith, but let’s not get caught in the fray of building up those who seek fame, power and self benefit.