A Montrose Church Lent Devotional by Pastor Rick
Lent Day 30
Today's reading: Judges 9:7-15
It is a strange little parable with profound insight we read in the 9th chapter of Judges. Once upon a time all the trees decided to anoint a king for themselves. One at a time they went to three trees, an olive tree, a fig tree, and a vine. Each of the three turned them down. Then they went to a thorn bush who agreed to be the king with the caveat that it would be on his terms alone. In the first three choices, the trees turned them down because only God was to be king in Israel. The people wanted a king but this wasn’t God’s best for them. The thorn bush decided the invitation was an opportunity for him to take charge, ignoring God, and enthroning himself in the throne room of power. The thorn bush king was a man by the name of Abimelech, a man who had no room for God in his life or in his reign.
In the parable, the trees seeking a king represent the people of Israel. They simply weren’t comfortable with God being their Leader. Sometimes we humans can be quite stubborn. In time God gave the people their desire, but the people would live to regret it, suffering through a lot of disobedient and evil kings. God never gave up on the people, however, and the truth is that only as the people lived in obedience to the true King, did the blessings of God flow.
What are we to glean from this parable? Perhaps it is simply a matter of who we want to be king in our lives. Who will we follow? Who will lead us? Shall we be people of God or shall we be people who follow leaders of our own creation? Another way to discuss this is to ask what or who is it that influences our lives. Whose influence matters more than any other influence?
In this Lenten season we are brought face to face with the true King. Jesus has shown us the heart of God, and we have opened up our lives to His amazing grace. The prayer of our lives is, "Our Father…Your kingdom come…Your will be done" (see Matthew 6:9-10). The True King isn’t a detached king, but one who actually invites us to call Him, "Our Father." Our King came into our world to bring the heart, mind, and spirit of the Father to us. We are our Father’s beloved children. We can fully trust our Father, and in the trenches of life we can sing the words of the 19th century hymn,
O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee.
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depts is flow
May richer, fuller be.
- George Matheson, 1882
O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee.
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