Walking Circuitous Paths

stairway

Every adventure begins with a first step, or so it is said. We must take a step, whether in the right direction or wrong before progress can be made. Though we may not realize it at the time, even our circuitous paths are able to bring us home, when we allow God to lead the way.

When you were younger, were you positive you knew exactly where you were going in life, and exactly how you would get there?

I remember sitting around my room with girlfriends in elementary school telling each other the type of house we would live in, the number of children we would have, what our husbands would look like.

I can’t speak for the others, but I know I didn’t end up in the house with the white picket fence I imagined. And to be truthful, I’m glad I didn’t.

My elementary school plans were so limited. I didn’t have vision beyond what I saw on the covers of magazines, in television shows, or what I read in books.

I definitely didn’t give thought to the fact God was the one who should direct my path.

As adults, sometimes we might play the same game. We know for a fact what job we will have, who our friends will be, how much money we will retire with. But we haven’t given much thought to the fact God is the one who should direct our path.

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, it took them eleven days to reach the Promised Land. (Deuteronomy 1:2) Yet, due to their unbelief, God refused to let them enter. (Numbers 13 & 14) As a result, they wandered through the Sinai desert for 40 years.

They took a circuitous route because they grumbled, complained, rebelled, and didn’t believe God would keep his promises. Their vision was limited. They couldn’t see beyond their next campground.

In fact, they spent most of their time looking backwards at where they’d been and wishing they were still there. They didn’t take hold of the vision God had for them even though his presence led them.

God had a plan from before the beginning of time for what he would accomplish through his people. He has a plan for what he wants to accomplish through us.

Sometimes the way seems clear and we’re right on track to living in the house with the white picket fence, then boom! Something happens that knocks us sideways and we end up wandering in the desert.

Sometimes God takes us on circuitous paths through the desert to bring us back to him. He won’t leave us in the desert as long as we continue to trust him.

Though we may take a circuitous route to get there, our home in heaven is so much better than any white picket fence we could imagine. Wouldn’t you agree?

Did your dreams end up as you planned, or did they take a circuitous route?

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Show me the right path, O Lord;  point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:4-5 (NLT)

You can find my June Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Photo by Jeanson Wong on Unsplash

A Love That Refuses To Let Go

Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

Years ago when I visited my cousin’s church, my attention focused on a small boy and his father in front of me. For whatever reason, the boy was not happy. Not in the least little bit. Even so, his father exhibited a love that refuses to let go.

Because the boy was not happy, he began throwing things. His father told him to pick each projectile off the floor. With reluctance, and no small amount of displeasure, the boy obeyed. Only to throw something else moments later.

At one point, the father picked up the child. He sat him in his lap and wrapped both arms around his son. The more the boy squirmed, the tighter the father’s grip.

The boy kicked, stretched, whined, and fused, but could not break free from his father’s bear hug. After awhile, the father released his grip. He lifted his son from his lap, and set him in the space on the church pew beside him.

No sooner did the boy’s bottom hit the pew, but he scooted away. The interesting thing to me in all of this was, it didn’t take long at all until the boy scootched his way back to his father, placed his head in his lap, and fell asleep.

As I consider this, I think more times than not, we behave like that little boy. We’re not happy with the way our life is going. We start throwing things around. We might pick them up for a moment, only to throw them down again.

Sometimes in the middle of our disobedience, God sets us in his lap, wraps his arms tightly around us, and expresses a love that refuses to let go.

We squirm. We kick. We whine and fuss because we aren’t getting our way. Things are not going according to our plan or agenda. We’re mad, and we don’t care who knows it.

Still, God holds us. And when the time is right, he loosens his grip, places us on the bench beside him, only to watch us scoot away. We aren’t finished being mad. We aren’t giving in that easy.

But there comes the moment of realization, whether we admit it or not, when we know we were wrong. We know we behaved badly and acted like a tantrum-throwing two-year-old. When that happens, we sidle back next to God and he allows us to place our head in his lap once more.

When we fall back on God’s grace, mercy, and love that refuses to let go no matter how horrid we act, we are safe and can rest. We know beyond any doubt God cares enough about us to want what’s best for us. Even when we strain against his grip.

How have you felt God’s love that refuses to let go wrap its arms around you?

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Once I was bitter and brokenhearted. I was stupid and ignorant, and I treated you as a wild animal would. But I never really left you, and you hold my right hand. Your advice has been my guide, and later you will welcome me in glory. In heaven I have only you, and on this earth you are all I want. My body and mind may fail, but you are my strength and my choice forever. Psalm 73:21-26 (CEV)

You can find my May Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Dig the Trenches

Image Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

During the reign of King Joram in the northern tribes of Israel, and the reign of King Jehoshaphat in the southern tribes of Judah, the people of Moab rebelled against King Joram. They refused to continue paying tribute to Israel. Joram asked Jehoshaphat to help him fight the Moabites.

King Jehoshaphat agreed, and along with men from Edom, the three armies set out against Moab. They traveled in the wilderness for seven days and ran out of water for themselves and their animals. With no water, Jehoshaphat suggested they consult God’s prophet Elisha to find out what they should do.

When they got to Elisha, he snarled at King Joram, and told him to go consult the pagan prophets of his parents. Finally, Elisha was persuaded to help, only because King Jehoshaphat was there.

After praying to God for direction, Elisha told the men to dig trenches in the dry valley to hold water the LORD would send. They wouldn’t see the rain, but the valley would be filled with water, nonetheless.

The men dug. God provided.

Sometimes, it may seem as if our lives are one big dry valley. Nothing is growing. It all seems like a parched barren wasteland. That’s how it was for Joram and Jehoshaphat. Before the rain fell, the men had to dig trenches to hold the promised water. Providing the rain was an easy task for God. Before he provided for their need, however, the men had to do their part first.

Could it be that during our dry valley times there is something God wants us to do first in preparation for his blessings? An attitude or habit which needs tweaked? Attention which needs to be spent in a certain area? Willingness to step out in faith to what God’s calling us to?

Elisha consulted God for direction. We need to do the same. Once direction is received, it’s time to get to work. We must dig the trenches in preparation for God’s rain to fill in our drought-stricken valleys.

Where have you seen God fill in your trenches?

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 He said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Make this valley (the Arabah) full of trenches.’  For thus says the Lord, ‘You will not see wind or rain, yet that valley will be filled with water, so you and your cattle and your other animals may drink. This is but a simple thing in the sight of the Lord; He will also hand over the Moabites to you. 2 Kings 3:16-18 (AMP)

You can find my May Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Who Is Wise Among You?

Photo by Andrés Dallimonti on Unsplash

Due to my growing interest in ancient Greek history, there was a time during my early teen years where I studied the words of several Greek philosophers. Socrates, (or So Crates if you’re a Bill and Ted fan) was at the top of my list. Perhaps that’s the reason I ask a lot of questions and ponder why.

To the people of the day, and for centuries to follow, the words of these philosophers were considered to be truly wise.

One quote by Heraclitus I discovered during my college Humanities class has stuck with me through the years.

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. Heraclitus

Life continues to flow, does it not? We can never snatch back yesterday.

Today we are surrounded by people who claim to be wise. To have all the answers. To be able to solve all our problems. During the time Job endured unimaginable trials – all his children killed, his home destroyed, his livestock and wealth taken from him, his health deteriorated to the point he cried out for death – his so-called friends counseled him with their self-proclaimed wisdom.

They said many things, but their wisdom was anything but wise.

In the Book of Job God tells Job, “To be wise, you must have reverence for the Lord. To understand, you must turn from evil.” God states wisdom is not to be found among mortals; no human knows its true value. God alone knows the way, knows the place where wisdom is found.

Socrates stated, “The unexamined life is not worth living [and] ethical virtue is the only thing that matters.”

Well, although I agree we must examine our lives daily to make sure we are following the path Jesus set before us, and I agree ethical virtue is important, I’d have to disagree with ethical virtue being the only thing that matters.

I believe an abiding faith in, reverence and love for, and obedience to the One True Living God needs to top our list of the things that matter most.

What do you think?

Were there any philosophers you enjoyed studying? Any philosophical quotes you’d care to share? Here’s another from Socrates. “Wisdom begins in wonder.” 

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Wisdom is not to be found among mortals; no one knows its true value. The depths of the oceans and seas say that wisdom is not found there. It cannot be bought with silver or gold. The finest gold and jewels cannot equal its value. It is worth more than gold, than a gold vase or finest glass.

The value of wisdom is more than coral or crystal or rubies. The finest topaz and the purest gold cannot compare with the value of wisdom.

Where, then, is the source of wisdom? Where can we learn to understand? No living creature can see it, not even a bird in flight. Even death and destruction admit they have heard only rumors.

God alone knows the way, knows the place where wisdom is found, because he sees the ends of the earth, sees everything under the sky.

When God gave the wind its power and determined the size of the sea, when God decided where the rain would fall, and the path that the thunderclouds travel; it was then he saw wisdom and tested its worth—He gave it his approval.

God said to us humans, “To be wise, you must have reverence for the Lord. To understand, you must turn from evil.” Job 28:13-28 (GNT)

You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Getting Rid of the Weeds

Is it just me, or does yard work never end? Earlier, I dealt with the results of our February freeze. Next, I moved on to getting rid of the weeds in our yard. I’ve dug up dandelions, tackled dollar weed, and attacked the sprawling sticky whatever-it-is weed that spreads out all over the place. And then there was the thorn laden vine that wove itself through the azalea. Yeah, that was fun to remove. Not.

Why is it the plants died from the freeze, but the weeds flourished? Tis a puzzlement to be sure.

Getting rid of the weeds is an ongoing, tedious, labor intensive battle I don’t seem to ever win. However, as I worked at getting rid of the weeds in my yard, I thought about how much weeds and sin have in common.

  • If I don’t get the whole root, the weed will just come right back.
  • If we don’t dig out the root of sin, it will just pop right back.
  • Some of the weeds sneaked in under the fence from the neighbor’s yard.
  • If we aren’t careful, our neighbors’ sins can become our own.
  • Getting rid of weeds is a lot easier if done when we first notice them.
  • Getting rid of sin is the same thing.
  • Those weeds I didn’t get rid of last year had time to grow and become tougher to remove.
  • The sins we don’t deal with when we first notice them will be more difficult to remove the longer we allow them to remain.
  • Weeds with shallow roots are easier to remove.
  • Sins we haven’t allowed to get deep into our soul are easier to remove.
  • All the weeds may not get removed in one day.
  • Our sins may not get removed in one day.
  • Pulling weeds and taking steps to keep them from returning is a lot of work. I’ll probably enlist help to complete the job.
  • Getting rid of our sins is work. We need to enlist help from the Holy Spirit.

Got a garden full of weeds in your life? What steps are you taking to get rid of the weeds? Maybe, as with sin, the first step is admitting there are weeds in our garden, and determine to do something about them.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” Isaiah 43:25 (NLT)

You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Ruth and Boaz

Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash

The story of Ruth and Boaz is a familiar one. It is a story of loss, bitterness, redemption, love, and joy. The main characters are the widow Naomi, her widowed daughter-in-law Ruth, and the kinsman redeemer Boaz.

Throughout the Book of Ruth we see God working. I love how the Bible says, as it happened, and as it turned out. Naomi and Ruth didn’t just happen to arrive in Bethlehem at harvest time, and Ruth didn’t just happen to end up gathering grain in Boaz’s fields. The fact Ruth is King David’s great-grandmother, and Boaz is David’s great-grandfather, putting them both in Christ’s genealogy, is by no means mere happenstance.

If you are familiar with Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz’s story, you remember Naomi’s family moved from Bethlehem in Judah to the land of the Moabites during a severe famine. While there, Naomi’s husband and both sons died, leaving behind three widows.

When word reached Naomi good crops were once again growing in Judah, she decided to return. At first, both daughter-in-laws decided to go with her. In the end, only Ruth left her homeland of Moab to join Naomi on her journey.

First off, this was no leisurely stroll to the market. These two women left their home and walked approximately 50 to 60 miles for 7-10 days. They descended from the mountains in Moab, entered the Jordan River Valley north of the Dead Sea, ascended to Jericho, and climbed an additional 2,500 feet near Jerusalem, before walking south to Bethlehem.

Two women traveling such a great distance alone definitely would not be without its dangers. Wild animals and thieves topped the list.

We know their story ends well. However, I’d like to point out a couple things we might miss by just looking at this as a nice love story between Ruth and Naomi,  and between Ruth and Boaz.

Ruth was from Moab. The Israelites did not like the Moabites for a number of reasons, going all the way back to their wilderness wandering days. So Ruth’s willingness to embrace the God of the Israelites and live among them was huge.

Boaz’s mother, Rahab, was the Canaanite woman who hid Israelite spies right before the people of Israel circled Jericho, and God leveled it.

There was the very real possibility Ruth would be treated roughly if no one protected her.

As the son of an outsider, Boaz understood what being an outsider meant, and was willing to protect Ruth.

Ruth’s devotion to God wasn’t inherited from her family. They were pagan-worshiping child-sacrificers. Ruth chose to worship God.

Boaz was a close kin who could redeem Ruth according to the Levirate law (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). He chose to redeem Ruth.

In this story, we see a God who works in our lives to achieve his plan whether we are aware of it or not.

We are shown God invites everyone to be a part of his family, regardless of where they came from or what their previous beliefs were.

Before the kinsman redeemer can redeem, he must be related by blood to those he redeems. He must be able to pay the price of redemption. And there has to be a willingness to redeem. 

Just as Boaz was Ruth’s kinsman redeemer, Jesus is our kinsman redeemer. Through his sacrificial blood we are related to him. Jesus was without sin and able to pay the cost. He willingly paid the price for our redemption.

What is your favorite part of Ruth and Boaz’s story?

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Naomi took the baby and held him in her arms, cuddling him, cooing over him, waiting on him hand and foot.

The neighborhood women started calling him “Naomi’s baby boy!” But his real name was Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David. Ruth 4:116-17 (MSG)

You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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When No One’s Watching

Photo by Gabriel Meinert on Unsplash

The other day, I drove through the neighborhood as the elementary school dismissed. I chuckled when I noticed one particular boy. Once he was out of sight of the police officer directing traffic, he removed his bicycle helmet and hung it from the bike’s handlebars.

However, after he turned onto my street, things changed. He placed the helmet on his head. A few houses later, he pulled to the curb and tightened the straps under his chin.

When he believed no one was watching, he acted one way. When he knew there was the possibility his parents might see him, he acted another. Obedience had nothing to do with it. Doing the right thing had nothing to do with it. Getting caught had everything to do with it.

While I found the incident rather humorous, it led me to wonder. How often do I, do we, behave one way when we believe no one’s watching, and behave another way when we believe they are? Not really out of obedience to God or out of love for him, but out of the fear of being reprimanded for not wearing our helmets?

We don’t need to look further than the third chapter of Genesis to see this played out in the lives of Adam and Eve. After they were deceived by the serpent, they tried to hide from God. Things did not work out as they thought they would.

When the LORD told Abraham he and Sarah would have a son in a year’s time in Genesis 18, Sarah laughed. She thought God wouldn’t hear. Guess what? God heard.

Before we leave the book of Genesis, there’s the story in Genesis 37 of Joseph and his ten older brothers. Out of jealousy, and believing no one would find out, they threw Joseph into a dry cistern. They planned on leaving him there and concocted a wild story to tell their father Jacob about how Joseph died. But then some Ishmaelite merchants traveling to Egypt arrived. The older brothers sold their younger know-it-all brother into slavery. The going price? Twenty shekels of silver. They didn’t think anyone would find out. Boy were they wrong. What they planned for evil when no one was watching, God planned for good.

The Bible is filled with stories like these where people thought they could do whatever they wanted when they believed no one was watching. The Israelites and that golden calf of theirs recorded in Exodus 32. Jonah and the large fish he found himself taking up residence in recorded in the book of Jonah. Ananias and Sapphira and their land deal recorded in Acts 5 shortly after the New Testament Church began.

Regardless of the situation or reason, when we act as if no one’s watching and do wrong, we forget a very important fact. We can’t fool God. God sees. God hears. God knows. We show our love for God through our obedience, whether anyone sees us or not.

Instead of removing our helmet when we think no one’s watching and then putting it on when we think they are, what say we act like God’s watching? Because, you know, he really is. Not as someone looking to punish, but as someone who loves us too much to allow us to harm ourselves through disobedience.

Which story in the Bible about someone doing something when they think no one’s watching is your favorite?

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Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them. Those who do not love me do not obey my teaching. And the teaching you have heard is not mine, but comes from the Father, who sent me.” John 14:23-24 (GNT)

You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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When Satan Tries To Steal Our Joy

When Satan tries to steal our joy we don’t have to let him. As difficult as it is some days, we can choose joy over despair. Not in our power alone, but in Christ’s.

Sometimes it takes a concentrated effort to block out the joy-stealers in our life and dwell on the joy we can have in knowing Christ instead. It takes practice to trust in the One who holds every tear we’ve cried to take away the sorrow. It takes faith to know the same God who created the world and has our names engraved on his hand won’t allow anything to reach us he didn’t plan or permit.

Current events are enough to make us hang our heads and run for cover. Every time I read the newspaper or listen to the news and feel my joy slipping away, I have to consciously remind myself God is still on his throne. He is still in control. Nothing happens he isn’t aware of. Even when I question what happens, I am determined to fight back against the joy-stealers.

I admit that is often easier said than done. Especially when I’m faced with yet one more health concern.

There may be moments when we stand tall on mountains of faith, then plunge to the valleys of doubt, deep fear, or depression the next.

It’s not like we go around tossing ourselves into those dark times on purpose. Our peace, happiness, and joy are not things we willing throw away. Those are things Satan, the deceiver, joy-stealer-extraordinaire delights in snatching right out from under us.

Stealing our joy is what the father of lies is good at. Satan really cannot stand for us to enjoy the life our Creator God provides for us to the fullest. He loves to drop us into a pit of despair. But Jesus is the rescuer who pulls us out of the slimy pit, puts our feet on solid ground, and restores our joy.

Satan wants us to live in joyless misery. He works very hard to fulfill that desire. His tactics are many. He uses people. World events. Natural disasters. Sickness. Death. Loss. Wars and rumors of wars.

When he attacks, we must remind ourselves he is defeated by the mighty resurrection power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

When we find ourselves in a place where we feel something in our lives is missing, like we’ve lost something important, perhaps our joy in the knowledge we are a beloved child of the One True King needs reaffirmed.

Perhaps we need to sing the song many of us learned as children.

Perhaps we need not only sing the song, but believe it with all our heart.

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy,
Down in my heart,
Down in my heart.
Down in my heart;
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy,
Down in my heart,
Down in my heart to stay.

I’ve got the peace that passeth understanding,
Down in my heart,
Down in my heart.
Down in my heart;
I’ve got the peace that passeth understanding,
Down in my heart,
Down in my heart to stay.

I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus,
Down in my heart,
Down in my heart.
Down in my heart;
I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus,
Down in my heart,
Down in my heart to stay.

And if the devil doesn’t like it he can sit on a tack
Sit on a tack,
Sit on a tack,
Sit on a tack,
And if the devil doesn’t like it he can sit on a tack to
Stay.

George W. Cooke

Or perhaps you would like to listen to Zach Williams’ hand-clapping toe-tapper, Old Church Choir. Either way, praise God and don’t let Satan steal your joy!

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Be careful—watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart.  Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too. After you have suffered a little while, our God, who is full of kindness through Christ, will give you his eternal glory. He personally will come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever. To him be all power over all things, forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:8-11 (TLB)

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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We Are Aliens In This World

Although this post first appeared October 4, 2016, I felt it worth re-posting.Hope you agree.

Last month during our trip through the Southwest, Pilot and I went through Roswell, NM on our way to Carlsbad Caverns. Although our intent was to visit the International UFO Museum Research Center to see if the truth really is out there, a tornado threatened to send us sheltering beneath the Roswell Museum and Art Center where Pilot soaked in the history of the Robert Goddard exhibit, so we decided to get out of town. Fast.

It seemed everywhere I looked between Roswell and Carlsbad there were aliens.

And this got me thinking about those of us who belong to Jesus.

We are in this world, but not of it. We are aliens, if you will. Sojourners traveling through this world, waiting for the day Jesus takes us to our eternal home in heaven.

To quote Henry David Thoreau, we march to the beat of a different drum. At least we should. People should be able to look at what we do, what we say, where we go, how we treat people, and notice we are different.

We are to reflect Jesus, not the world.

The patriarch, Abraham, was called out of the land of Ur to travel to a place God would take him; Canaan, the land the Israelites called the Promised Land. Abraham was an alien in a foreign land. He was just a-passin’ through.

We are called to be different from the world around us. We are called to a higher standard. A standard set by God. Not a standard set by the culture that surrounds us. God has chosen us to be holy and pure. We belong to him, as such, we are his ambassadors to people who do not yet know him.

This world is not our home. We are aliens. And that’s a good thing, don’t you think?

The truth is out there, and it isn’t found in a science fiction tv show. It’s found in the Words of Truth recorded in God’s Holy Bible.

Have you visited the International UFO Museum Research Center?

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But you are not like that, for you have been chosen by God himself—you are priests of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God’s very own—all this so that you may show to others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.Dear brothers, you are only visitors here. Since your real home is in heaven, I beg you to keep away from the evil pleasures of this world; they are not for you, for they fight against your very souls. 1 Peter 2:9 & 11 (TLB)

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Trees Chose a King

One of the worst eras in Israel’s history was the time of judges. It was during this time everyone did what was right in his or her own eyes. A quizzical story in the ninth chapter of the book of Judges tells of the time the trees chose a king.

The story comes after Gideon’s death. Finding a successor among Gideon’s seventy sons was no easy task. To solve this problem, Abimelech, the son Gideon had with a concubine from Shechem, went to his uncles and asked them to go to the leaders of Shechem. Abimelech wanted his uncles to convince the leaders he should become the next king since his mother was from Shechem.

The leaders agreed. They gave Abimelech money from the temple treasury to do as he pleased to make it so. The future king used the treasury money and hired some worthless loafers, as The Living Bible translation calls them. These hired guns slaughtered sixty-nine of Abimelech’s half-brothers. Only the youngest, Jotham, escaped.

When Jotham heard the citizens of Shechem declared Abimelech king of Israel, he stood at the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted across to the men of Shechem. There he told the tale of how the trees chose a king. In his tale, the trees who sought a king represented Shechem. The king the trees selected represented Abimelech.

Jotham’s story follows.

The trees sought a king, but the most important and productive trees refused to accept the position. The olive tree was busy producing oil and couldn’t be bothered to rule over unproductive trees that simply waved their branches in the wind.

Next, the fig tree said it would rather produce sweet fruit than rule as king over useless trees.

The grapevine refused asking, “Should I give up producing wine to hold sway over trees?”

In desperation the trees pleaded with the prickly volatile thorn bush to be their king. The thorn bush agreed. With conditions.

“If you want me as your king, come and take refuge in my shade.” (Rather ironic since thorn bushes produce limited shade.) “But if you won’t choose me as your king, then let fire come out of the thorn bush and consume you.”

Three years after making Abimelech king, the Shechemites revolted against him. As was predicted in Jotham’s story, Abimelech destroyed them with fire. (9:47-49)

The people got what they asked for. A prickly volatile thorn bush who destroyed them. In the end, however, the actions of a woman with a millstone standing on a rooftop put an end to the thorn bush king.

Perhaps something we can gain from the inclusion of Jotham’s story of how the trees chose a king is when God’s people abandon him, and do whatever is right in their own eyes, the consequences of their decisions lead to disaster.

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 “Go and talk to the leaders of Shechem,” he requested, “and ask them whether they want to be ruled by seventy kings—Gideon’s seventy sons—or by one man—meaning me, your own flesh and blood!” (Judges 9:2 TLB)

You can find my October Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

Dave Peever is taking a break from writing his “I Am” series which posted here the last Tuesdays of the month.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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