Read Judges 9
To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+9&version=NLT
Scripture- Judges 9:6- Then all the leading citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo called a meeting under the oak beside the pillar at Shechem and made Abimelech their king.
Observations- Nowhere at this point in Israel’s history had God indicated He wanted the nation to have a King, which didn’t stop Abimelech from wanting to be one. He used his father, Gideon, and his good name and strong character as references as he applied for the job that belonged to God alone with a group of people that were preferred him to any of Gideon’s other children as the next judge. God was neither consulted nor honored by their decision to choose their own King. Abimelech was brilliant, brutal, and ruthless and he wanted to lead for selfish reasons as he had no desire to give God any of the glory he sought for himself. While his life ended tragically, it was conducted in a way that no other end was possible. He caused a great suffering and pain for the people he ruled over.
Application- There is much to be learned from those in the Bible (like Gideon) that God chooses to lead the people in a positive way versus those who force circumstances and choose for themselves to rule in a way (like Abimelech) that simply helps them get more power. Gideon got to be a judge in Israel, because God selected him, not because he sought the position for personal gain. Gideon lived into the angel's declaration that he was a "mighty hero" in God's power through his weakness. We always have to check out our motives in prayer. If it is truly to leverage our lives to positively make a difference with and for Christ in this world, then that is a very good thing. Does God continue to confirm that He wants us to keep moving forward to lead for Christ’s glory on behalf of others? If so,
we press on like Gideon did. If not, then things won't end well.
Prayer- Dear God, I heard he first call me into ministry when I was 19. I finally heard that as a call to pastor and lead a church when I was 33. Take all of my weaknesses and use them in Your strength for Your glory. I submit myself to Your authority to be molded and shaped to honor You as a pastor, leader, and person who reflects Your great love for others. May all members and friends at New Hope listen carefully for You to speak into their lives each day. Amen.
"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39)
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