Today’s reading: Judges 9

Key Verse: And the thornbush replied to the trees, ‘If you truly want to make me your king, come and take shelter in my shade.” Judges 9:15

God never appointed Abimelech as a  judge; rather he usurped power through brutality and betrayal. Not once in Scripture does he even acknowledge God.

Abimelech’s claimed he should be king because he was Gideon’s son.  In fact, Abimelech’s name meant “my father is king”, and Abimelech felt he should secure the throne his father declined. Not to serve people, but to satisfy his power hungry appetite. .

We have all heard of sibling rivalry, but Abimelech took it to a new level. He ordered his seventy brothers to be brutally and publicly executed. Of the seventy, only Jotham escaped and denounced Abimelech with a fable about three valuable trees, native to Israel. The trees were offered kingship but refused until, the thornbush accepts with a provision, “If you truly want to make me your king, come and take shelter in my shade.”

There is no shade, comfort or protection in a thornbush. Yet, God’s people accepted the offer because they had adjusted to the values of the godless culture.

Why do we put ourselves in situations where we know we should not be? Why do we accept foolish invitations?  Often because we too have adjusted to the values of this world. We must guard ourselves against being molded by our culture and allow God to shape us through the Holy Spirit and His Word.

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