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Synopsis of Electing a Bramble
We’re about to slice a piece of the bread of life, the word of God. And today’s slice comes from…. Judges 9:7
But first let me remind you of who the characters are in this passage. Remember Gideon who did battle against the Midianites with only the 300 men God selected, and won the battle. Gideon had many wives and 70 legitimate sons of his wives, and…… one illegitimate son of his slave.
After defeating the Midianites the Israelites asked Gideon and his 70 sons to rule them…. Become their king. Gideon answered, he nor his sons would rule them…. Let God rule them.
Then the illegitimate son, Abimilec, came to the Israelites and asked to be their king. They agreed. He then killed all but one of Gideon’s 70 sons…. Jotham. He then reigned over them as king.
Now for the slice of today’s bread…. Judges 9:7 Then Jotham escaped and lived in Baer because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech. When Jotham heard about this, he climbed to the top of mount Gerizim and shouted, “listen to me, people of Shechem! Listen to me if you want to listen to you! 8 once upon a time the trees decided to elect a king. First they said to the olive tree, ‘be our king!’ 9 But it refused, saying, ‘should I quit producing the olive oil that blesses both God and people, just to wave back and forth over the trees?’10 “then they said to the fig tree, ‘you be our king!’11 but the fig tree also refused, saying, ‘should I quit producing my sweet fruit just to wave back and forth over the trees?’12 “then they said to the grapevine, ‘you be our king!’ 13 but the grapevine replied, ‘should I quit producing the wine that cheers both God and people, just to wave back and forth over the trees?’14 “then all the trees finally turned to the thornbush and said, ‘come, you be our king!’15 and the thornbush replied, ‘if you truly want to make me your king, come and take shelter in my shade. If not, let fire come out from me and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’ 16 “now make sure you have acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelech your king, and that you have done right by Gideon and all of his descendants.
Have you treated my father with the honor he deserves? 17 for he fought for you and risked his life when he rescued you from the Midianites. 18 but now you have revolted against my father and his descendants, killing his seventy sons on one stone. And you have chosen his slave woman’s son, Abimelech, to be your king just because he is your relative. 19 if you have acted honorably and in good faith toward Gideon and his descendants, then may you find joy in Abimelech, and may he find joy in you. 20 But if you have not acted in good faith, then may fire come out from Abimelech and devour the people of Shechem and Beth-Milloand may fire come out from the people of Shechem and Beth-Millo and devour Abimelech
Bro Dick, what is all this story about olive trees, fig trees and grapevines. And surely what is thronbush got to do with anything. Think about this…. What are three important items needed in this desert country? Olives and olive oil were a necessity of life to cook with but also to be used as a healing agent. Figs were not just food but used to heal. Grapevines produced the wine of the day. These were staples of the day and were recognized as nobility. Whereas, thornbush, or bramble, would be considered in comparison, to be illegitimate crop.
The title of today’s message is…. Electing a Bramble. The teaching of this message is …. this is what happens when the church stays out of a requested position…. brambles will take over. (1) brambles will take over if noble trees don’t accept the challenge. (2) olive / figs / grapes too often only commit to religion and not to societal needs.
Remember the Shulamite maiden in: Song of Solomon 3:1 Young woman… “one night as I lay in bed, I yearned deeply for my lover, but he did not come. 2 so I said to myself, I will get up now and roam the city, searching for him in all its streets and squares.’ but my search was in vain. 3 the watchmen stopped me as they made their rounds, and I said to them, ‘have you seen him anywhere, this one I love so much?’ 4 A little while later I found him and held him.
She wanted to keep him only in her bed and was so surprised to find him in the town square. My friends, churches are diminishing because God is wanting new wind skins. God is moving in society, in schools, in workplaces. Churches want to keep him in their four walls.
I have preached two series of messages on the “Seven mountains of Culture” of this country in which God is calling those willing to venture out with their faith….. to………… the mountains of government, of economy, of entertainment, of media, of religion, of family and of education. Get ready…. After today’s message I will preach on those seven mountains again. Why? Because God is calling me to …and to you also. This is where God wants his Christian children involved. For too long we, the church, have preached, “keep religion and politics apart”.
Bottom line……. Brambles have taken over. I am if this message is turning you off. But I must say what my God wants me to say. I do believe it’s what He is saying to you.
In the passage we just read the trees represent Israel and now the grafted Jew, or as we consider ourselves…. Christians. And there are times in the bible that we are referred to as “wild olive trees”. That’s a compliment. You see, olive oil is considered an Abrahamic blessing.
These blessings are told in Deuteronomy 28: 1-14….. But listen…. all I keep hearing from my Christian brothers and sisters is how terrible this nation has become…. children murdering children, mothers killing their children, fathers abandoning their families, young women planning to have children without fathers, abominations of homosexuality being promoted as righteous, abortions by the thousands. You know that during this broadcast alone there will be over 200 babies murdered in the womb.
Yes… we are great on complaining and speaking about these abominations…. but what are you doing????? What organization do you support with your time and effort to correct any of these things.
Folks, God not only considers people to be his children, he calls nations to be his children. And we are watching him have to punish this, our nation, for the sins I just listed.
Deut 18:1-14 is sub titled in my bible as Blessings of Obedience. I won’t take the time to reiterate them as I think you know them.
Deut 28:15-33 ~ is sub titled in my bible as Consequences of Disobedience. I want to read it to you, but be aware that this is not a message to tickle ears.
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