Vol. 6, No. 10
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The son of Gideon, Abimelech, was not a good man. He decided that he wanted to rule Israel. He desired to be honored like his father had been. But Abimelech did not do the things his father had done to be worthy of praise. God was not with Abimelech. His father had never been king but Abimelech wanted to be a king.
Abimelech killed all but one of his brothers (he had at least 70 brothers). He went to his relatives and made a pact with them. They decided to support Abimelech in his desire.
The brother who was alive went to these relatives and told them a fable about a group of trees who wanted a king. You can read this fable in Judges 9:7-21. The trees went to an olive tree, which turned down their offer. They went to a fig tree, which turned down their offer. They went to a vine and it turned down their offer. Finally they go to a bramble and the bramble agrees to be the king over the trees.
How silly that trees would accept a bramble as king over them. The trees are big and strong and beautiful. The bramble is small and ugly. Yet in the fable, the bramble has the audacity to say it will give the trees shade.
This fable was intended to tell Abimelech and his relatives that the pact they have made is silly and ridiculous. Israel has a king -- God. Israel is a chosen people who God will bless immensely if they remain faithful to him. They will be seen as a wonderful and beautiful people to all other nations. Yet, they are agreeing to have a man with pride who murdered his own family as their king.
One lesson we can learn from this incident is that we should desire to have the right individual leading us. We should do our best to elect the right individuals at all levels of government or any leadership position. We should do our best not to elect or select those who lie, cheat or who display improper moral behavior.
Do your best to know what God wants from us. Study his Word, the Bible, to learn his principles for all aspects of our life.
The Jewish leaders did not want to believe Jesus. They also did not want the people to believe in him. They constantly followed him around and made trouble for him. They at times accused him of wrongdoing. They tried asking him difficult questions to make him look uneducated. But nothing they did produced the result they wanted.
In John 5:39-40, we read, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." Jesus is telling the Jewish leaders that all they have to do is search the Scriptures. The Old Testament Scriptures have many prophecies regarding the Christ. Jesus is telling them that if they will simply look at his life and look at the Scriptures, they will see that he is indeed the Messiah.
The Jewish leaders believed that eternal life came from the Scriptures. They were partially correct. Eternal life comes to those who obey the Scriptures. The Jewish leaders had come to the point that they believed just possessing the Scriptures was enough. But Jesus is saying that they must study them and obey them.
Jesus was prophesied to come. And the Jews were commanded to listen to the Messiah when he came into the world. The Jewish leaders were refusing to do that.
Keep reading and studying your Bible. Learn all you can from it. Then obey the commandments of God. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.