fire from the bramble
Judges 9:7-21 (JDV)
Judges 9:7 When they told Jotham, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim, raised his voice, and called to them: Listen to me, landowners of Shechem, and may God listen to you:
Judges 9:8 The trees decided to anoint a king over themselves. They said to the olive tree, “Be king over us.”
Judges 9:9 But the olive tree said to them, “Should I stop giving my oil that people use to honor both God and men, and rule over the trees?”
Judges 9:10 Then the trees said to the fig tree, “Come and be king over us.”
Judges 9:11 But the fig tree said to them, “Should I stop giving my sweetness and my good fruit, and rule over trees?”
Judges 9:12 Later, the trees said to the grapevine, “Come and be king over us.”
Judges 9:13 But the grapevine said to them, “Should I stop giving my wine that cheers both God and man, and cause disturbance over trees?”
Judges 9:14 Finally, all the trees said to the bramble, “Come and be king over us.”
Judges 9:15 The bramble said to the trees, “If you really are anointing me as king over you, come and find refuge in my shade. But if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.”
Judges 9:16 “Now if you have acted faithfully and honestly in making Abimelech king, if you have done well by Jerubbaal and his family, and if you have rewarded him appropriately for what he did –
Judges 9:17 because my father fought for you, risked his throat, and rescued you from Midian,
Judges 9:18 and now you have attacked my father’s family today, killed his seventy sons on top of a large stone, and made Abimelech, the son of his slave woman, king over the landowners of Shechem ‘because he is your brother’ –
Judges 9:19 so if you have acted faithfully and honestly with Jerubbaal and his house this day, rejoice in Abimelech and may he also rejoice in you.
Judges 9:20 But if not, may fire come from Abimelech and consume the landowners of Shechem and Beth-millo, and may fire come from the citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo and consume Abimelech.”
Judges 9:21 Then Jotham fled, escaping to Beer, and lived there because of his brother Abimelech.
fire from the bramble
Jotham exposed the true motivation behind the Shechemites choice of Abimelech. He warned that their choice of this violent usurper would bring violence and death upon them. The parable of the bramble would soon be played out in their own lives.
Nobody ever wins when we try to oppose God’s will. When we choose leaders who are willing to plow down everyone around them to get their way, our leaders will remain consistent. So, eventually, we will be the ones being plowed down.
Lord, give us leaders who work for peace, and care for those you have placed them over.