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December 30, 2020 6:00 am
That is the principle of serving the Lord, are you appointed this by the Lord or not, and a competitive spirit must be resisted, if you work in ministry. It creeps up so quickly. If you hear about someone who excels in their profession you plot them unless you share the profession as the reaming you say he's a better doctor than me. These are just things better carpenter than I am. So we have to watch those things. This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher. Rick asked Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Judges, please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Judges chapter 9 as he begins his message the bramble King Judges chapter 9. This is the longest chapter in the book of Judges, the bramble King. That's the title. This ninth chapter, the story of a folk politician only find those kind of politicians. The Old Testament you wish Abimelech. That's his name. He was power crazed the power crazed son of Gideon the man of God. He was homicidal, not Gideon Abimelech bloodthirsty despot is what he really was, and he wanted to be king so badly that he massacred 69 of his 70 brothers at one time and what we have in this ninth chapter concerning his life and it will contain to this ninth chapter on three stages of his political life and it is his seizing of the of power really can't say the kingdom, though he considered himself a king. The defense of his power, and then the loss of it.
He was not anointed by God, and he was illegitimate among men as in relation to his authority but also in his beginning.
We got some of that last chapter.
Chapter 8 that he was the son of Gideon through Gideon and his concubine now. The ninth chapter strongly suggests that the concubine was a Shechem night.
In other words, a Gentile, Canaanite, you could say.
So let's look into verse one then Abimelech, the son of Zerubbabel that is Gideon went to Shechem to his mother's brothers and spoke with them and with all the family of the house of his mother's father saying before we get to what you're saying. His name means. My father is King. We can speculate on how that came about because Gideon refused to be king, though he lived like a king. As far as all of the niceties that surrounded his life.
He is very wealthy and he again.
He had a very large harem and Abimelech. My father is King.
It went to his head, at some point he felt he should be king. He was like the crown prince who should've been, but wasn't in his thinking is a ghost to Shechem. Now as mothers from Shechem. Evidently he was born and raised there and moved away, but remain close, closely related and and he's not living in his hometown when he comes to Shechem and this is mother's brothers are ever obviously his uncles, he recruits his uncles to launch his campaign to become leader and he's using Shechem to launch his political career. Verse two before I reversed to address at this comment right now the sons of Gideon, his 70 sons or a portion thereof were the political leaders of this region in Israel and the Manassas territory and and spilling out, but we would think it did. Don't get a lot of details and we have to go. I have a story reads because there's no summoning of the tribes it gives us a hint that he's pretty local in power, but verse two. Please speak in the hearing of all the men of Shechem, which is better for you that all 70 of the sons of Zerubbabel reign over you all that one reign over you. Remember that I am your own flesh and bone so you could listen to this essay discuss kind of boring is the story of what was happening to people years ago. It's this is been acted out throughout history globally. But of course the Holy Spirit preserves precisely what he wants and from that he cherry picks as we need, or at some time that we will need to draw from the lessons points that that he wants to make to us and in this case. This bramble King Abimelech is just a troublemaker who every church should have one every home should have one. Every city should have a share of troublemakers and how quickly these things just come to be and so here is using his campaign. Please speak in verse two in the hearing of all the men of Shechem. He sings to his uncles Ethan go to the leaders of the city and and get them to make me king so his rationale, which is better for you as though we had the people in mind that all 70 of the sons of Zerubbabel reign over you or that one reign over you, which is better. You are 70 people do you know leading you just want one, please make a difference depends on who they are is not a numerical problem to moral issue, but that's his pitches campaign slogan one or 70 and course he wants to be the chief of the model.
Family members who I'm sure they're saying to themselves what we make Abimelech king that is going to be good for us we going to get benefits to and so his argument again is do you want the out-of-towners to rule over you. Those Jewish children of Gideon will happen to the broadest 40 years of peace or you on a hometown boy your homey to be the ruler over you. He says remember that I am your own flesh and bone does lame credentials.
Again, we have peace right now why why we changing anything. And how come just because you related to us. You somehow deserve to rule and that's why I think their motives were selfish. They were saying. Now you know we put him in power that will benefit from this ill take care of us will take care of him.
This self-esteem leading to self-promotion.
In contrast to being anointed as Gideon was Hebrews chapter 5. Speaking about the office of the high priest of the priesthood.
The writer says, and no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God. Just as Aaron was. That is the principle of serving the Lord, are you appointed to this by the Lord or not, and a competitive spirit must be resisted, if you work in ministry and it creeps up so quickly. If you hear about someone who excels in their profession as you plug them unless you share the profession as the reaming you say he's a better doctor than me. What is sings about a carpenter than I am exit so we have to watch those things when I was a welding inspector II would joke really learns not do this, but I would joke with some of the guys that were really good welders in those jokers who did this weld over here who put this on here.
I think if every defensive because they were very interested in laying down a perfect weld in any criticism.
You better be ready to back it up. And so, hi I better stop doing that. It's cute to me but they didn't like anyway in the verse three and his mother's brothers spoke all these words concerning him in the hearing of all the men of Shechem and their heart was inclined to follow Abimelech for they said he's out there.
Doesn't matter if he's incompetent nepotism.
It is disgusting. If you've ever been a victim of it. Somebody allows their family to make your life miserable, because the family they get to be the supervisor incompetent and have counterproductive, irritating, all things ago with it because their family.
If you've ever worked in a family business. You may have been subjected to that. Well, he's my son.
And so is going to get it you going to get this bad of me sometimes works out well so he sold the idea to the men of Shechem. Again, the men of Shechem were mixed bunch Jews and Gentiles belong to the city. The second nights are descendents of Hae Moore who you remember the story of Simeon and Levi going in and slaughtering them. While there were survivors there people that claim to be connected. Not everybody was home and the slaughter took place. Evidently to have survivors verse four. So they gave them 70 shekels of silver from the temple of.
Which with which Abimelech had worthless and reckless men and they followed him. Something similar happened in the book of acts when they tried to hinder the work of the apostles. They hired those lesser men of the baser sort that says the king. The old King James version very poetically. While these men were based men lesser men of the baser sort, worthless, and reckless men say we not be that way.
So he receives not only authority he is the finances to launch this massacre that he has in mind. Isaiah 50 97. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood.
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity wasting and destruction are in their paths. They just selfish to be all about them and care what they do and this is Abimelech says from the temple of beer with one of the idols. It's an idol based initiative Habakkuk chapter 1 verse 11 makes the statement, he says he commits offense ascribing his power to his God as God wills it, and must be right. It comes right down from his temple to God's will. And who can be in the way of that will have the money to be king from the temple, so this must be blessed because he's no connection to Yahweh in Abimelech. This is ever made. An unbeliever can serve eight of the 10 Commandments.
If they get rid of the first to command not take good Lord's name in vain as a smock of morality or mark religion. They cannot kill and steal those things on the surface outside but they have other gods they have idols and this is Abimelech. He has another God. He has images of his God is not following the first two letters of the 10 Commandments and he will go on and break as many of the others as he can but sometimes we come across people that they on the surface they they are there decent people. They may be very religious people but when it comes to truly serving God first two Commandments of been compromised and that allows them to serve God in their own way. We see whole religions do this you can buy your way out of guilt. You can write a check and be forgiven and that will make it official for you. You can light a candle for somebody who's dead somehow they going to be blessed by the burning wax and WIC. These can get away with this because they run in a group that really the first two Commandments don't really count.
So with which Abimelech had worthless and reckless men and they followed him these the gangsters on the payroll. In those days there was no CNN or MSNBC to have on your side, you had to take matters into your own hands with the sword. And that is what they're going to do old saying show your friends and I'll show you your future.
These are the friends of Abimelech, these gangsters will find out what they're up to verse five. Then he went to his father's hell house at offer up and killed his brothers, the 70 sons of Zerubbabel on one stone. But Joe them. Joe from the youngest son of Jerome Bell was left because he hid himself loosely referred to the 70 sons. We see this in the New Testament with the 12 apostles, because the 70th of the number eight the youngest one EE it himself. This killing. The competition was not a metaphor with Abimelech. It was a reality again. Habakkuk is this woe to him who bills a town with bloodshed who establishes the city by iniquity is what he's doing. He felt entitled East again. The prince that should have been, and never was, and it just bothered too much to usurp the definition from Webster's dictionary were to seize and hold as office place or powers in possession by force or without right and he's doing it by force, and he is doing it without right he is usurping the authority massacred 69 man, how much grief was upon that village and offer because of this maniac 70 sons address about that is, of course, Gideon let Val answer for himself, so he is now a graduate of Satan school for dictators.
It is a growing alumni. It has been expanding over the centuries. Proverbs chapter 16 verse 12 is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness for throne is established by righteousness well directed and right that earlier Solomon so that Abimelech of that read that any would be a unfortunately is not that way for the wicked for the righteous. It is, but Joe them.
The youngest again. He survived one survivor verse six and all the men of Shechem gathered together at Beth Miller ON they went and made Abimelech king beside the terebinth tree at the pillar that was in Shechem. This bloodsoaked coronation. They gathered together to make Abimelech king some kingdom again highly doubtful that his influence reached much beyond meant Manas if it even reached throughout Manasseh's mother.
As I mentioned was a Shechem might his father. Of course Gideon was was Jewish and that allowed him to have influence with the Gentiles in Shechem and the Jews outside of Shechem as well as the ones that were there also and he could he could comfortably more comfortably. According to his logic represent both sides will both sides are doing fine without him we don't read about a problem until he comes along is the problem. This place in Shechem at Shechem. You know much Jewish history, there Abraham of courses that I had an altar there. Joshua pronounces the blessings on the people and gathers the people to Shechem for the end of his days. Jacob buried the idols that were in his caravan there at Shechem and this is this tree that is referenced here is likely associated with the patriarchs. This this makes the crime even worse, a mockery, and it is that ecumenical thing that satisfies the Gentiles because they have the pagan image there and it satisfies the Jews who are sitting on the fence with their religion because it is connected to the patriarchs. Verse seven now when they told Joe from he went and stood on top of Mount Grissom lifted his voice and cried out and said to them, listen to me you men of Shechem. God may listen to you. It's a nice introduction. I maybe if he was speaking extemporaneously to screen all is right out or if he wrote this down at the published it at some point somebody this is good stuff, and preservatives, and it's of one is going to get this parable that is scathing rebuke on these wicked men and his name. God is perfect and apparently a godly man. We wish we knew more about him because there's so much coming out of his parable in preparation and saying to myself I don't know there's so much to take out of the parable of the move will finish the chapter because it may take some of the time not on paper words, if the Lord just minute gives me stuff if I feel he does anyway. Mount Grissom. That's where Israel was supposed to pronounce the blessings on the people of God.
40 deviance and Mountie ball across from it was where the other half of the tribes would pronounce the judgments and curses upon the people for not honoring God's word or Joe them uses Mount Grissom which should've been the amount of blessing to curse those who had forsaken God and slaughtered his brothers and it shows how far by doing this he shows how far Israel had fallen from obedience and integrity and honor, and it is actually quite symbolic. Abimelech would've known that, but it just wouldn't have mattered. He was that rotten a person verse eight, the trees once went forth, now he begins his parable to anoint a king over them and they said to the olive tree reign over us that this is the first recorded parable in the Bible. And of course parables in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. They are timeless illustrations very beneficial and they take some concrete situation eight casted an abstract. You know, sort of light that ends up laconic abstract concept and it it ends up being concrete solid something you can say yes I see it and don't forget easily.
Ezekiel and Daniel in their ministries. The use trees to make their point to the nation before Nebuchadnezzar. And so we have Jotham doing the same thing as using these trees he start over the olive tree. These trees are nominated.
That's where it's going with this. He send Dollar Tree the divine fig tree. The olive fig and vine. They represent those nominated to rule over them most fruitful people to rule over them. That's where he's going with this.
The fruit bearing trees were those who fulfill the needs in life.
They made a contribution to life and then in a society where harvesting the animals dictated the rhythm people were very in touch with these things. Now the grocery stores do it for us it with under the open. These trees that he's giving is an example that then they're not looking to do anything else would bear their fruit. Unlike them, like Spurgeon preaches about this. One of his sermons. He says they strove to win all over those better trees which had remained faithful so now look at it in this light, you have someone who is very fruitful in life.
Someone wants that person to run for political office to stop being fruitful and come lead us in this office and their response of the olive tree type character not what I am doing here is very important I get back to that as we coloring more the parable verse nine but the olive tree said to them, should I cease giving my oil with which they honor God and man to go and sway over trees of the trees of the people that are coming to the fruit trees to nominate them to rule over and the fruit trees are telling the non-fruit rib bearing trees and one since all trees bear fruit that they continue to exist. Acorns, the fruit of an oak for example, cannot start a crop. You can eat, and you got them told you can eat acorn if you know how to prepare it and is quite dramatic… Go with you can either acorn and not suffer consequences.
So verse 10 then the trees said to the fig you common reign over us so the olive tree said I'm not interested. So they went the going down of the circular strength fig tree, and they figured out where fig tree was and he says, verse 11. But the fig tree said to them, should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit and goals sway over trees. This is a masterpiece of a parable.
The quality and value of these trees is not measured by size there measured by their fruit by their contribution to life.
I don't know why I love olive oil not big on the fix, but there's other fruit that you could substitute like cherries or something teaches. So anyway, but that they make this contribution and they would be distracted from what they were created for what they are ordained to do even anointed to do.
They would be distracted from serving their God-given purpose.
If they were just to listen to anybody. No matter how noble the nomination might appear. Should I stop serving God and care about those who don't care about God system.
I don't want to have sway over the cares of the world.
In verse 12 he says in the trees said to the vine you common reign over us fig trees that know the olive tree said no. I have always felt since I've been a Christian that it's a step down for pastor to leave his pulpit for politics.
I think it's not only a step is not like a step down a step to step down and abyss, and if they do it.
They think they get a following of people in the church at that then qualifies them somebody gets hold of the year you'd make a good senator the way you deliver your .0 boy the flattery just pours on.
We need more godly men and pulpits. We need godly people in politics, but not at the cost of our pulpits pulpit should contribute to producing fruitful characters have what it takes hold public office survive in that salary in St. moon thanks for tuning in to cross reference radio for this study in the book of Judges cross reference radio is the teaching ministry pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. If you'd like more information about this ministry, we invite you to visit our website cross reference radio.com will find additional teachings from Pastor Rick available there, and we encourage you to subscribe to our podcast by doing so you will be notified of each new edition of cross reference radio. You can search for cross reference radio on your favorite podcast that work just follow the links and cross reference radio.com that's all the time we have for today.
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