I don't really know why it stands out to me, but today as I was reading Judges 9 I came upon a story that really stood out. It could be that I hadn't heard it before, or it could be that God is really trying to say something to me through it. All I can say is that I can't seem to get my mind off the story.
In Judges 9:7-15 it says:
Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and called out. Thus he said to them, “Listen to me, O men of Shechem, that God may listen to you. Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my fatness with which God and men are honored, and go to wave over the trees?’ Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come, reign over us!’ But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?’ Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come, reign over us!’ But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?’ Finally all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come, reign over us!’ The bramble said to the trees, ‘If in truth you are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.’
As I sit back and look over my life, I wonder how many things/people I have gone to asking them to "reign over me?" I know that is something that I struggle with even now from time to time. I look for leadership, guidance, and a sense of worth from various people and achievements. It's hard not to. In essence that is the story of the Bible. We, as humans, tend to want something/someone to be our god. We want something/someone we can see, someone who can tell us what to do, someone who can make us feel good about ourselves. The problem is, in all of these situations in the Bible, if the focus is not on the one true God, it ends in tragedy.
It's sad really. As I read through the Bible I see how the Israelites saw God work in powerful ways and do some truly amazing things and yet, it wasn't long before they were back serving someone/something again. I can't say that I am any better. As hard as I want to make sure God is number one in my life, it is so easy to let something else start slipping into that place.
I've seen God do some pretty amazing things in my life. I have felt God. I have been in his presence yet, I struggle with truly searching after His truth in my life. I think that is what it means at the end of the story. I think we are being asked to make sure we are searching for the truth. We shouldn't be just accepting anything to be our leader and give us guidance. We should be searching for that truth that in reality can only be found in Christ. He says He is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. Why do we accept anything less?
It's hard, but He never says it is easy. It goes against our sinful nature, but that is who God is. I must become less, so that He can become more. I must die to self, so that I can find myself in Him. I must give up my "rights," so that He can use me.
It's hard....but He never says it will be easy.....