First of all, sorry I’ve been such a slacker! being away at METRO conference last week through me out a bit and a bunch of other things have meant that the blogging (for my part at least) has been a bit scarce! However the good news is that I’ve been hanging on for dear life to the reading schedule as it hurtles on into 2010. I hope you’ve been able to keep it up to.
Today’s passage carries on from the sad ending of Gideon’s story in chapter 8 with the gruesome story of Abimelech, his son. The key to chapter 9 is that in setting up Abimelech as king, Israel was rejecting God as their king. This was a principle that Gideon had understood (Judges 8:22-23) but that his son and the people of Israel later rejected. In exchange for the God who GIVES they installed a king who TAKES (checkout 1 Samuel 8:11-22) . The result, as Jotham predicts (Judges 9:20), is destruction.
After a few “minor” judges who we don’t learn much about, chapters 10 & 11 tell the story of Jephthah – and what a tragic story it is! From it’s beginnings in the evil apostasy of the Israelites to its conclusion with Jephthah’s killing of his own daughter, it’s a sorry affair. I think the key to Jephthah’s story is to understand the foolishness of doing deals with God. God doesn’t do deals. He doesn’t bargain with his people. he doesn’t want them to contribute anything to his triumphs lest the glory and praise be misplaced. Jephthah’s vow was foolish and he paid dearly.
Ever made a deal with God? You know: “If you… then I’ll…” Don’t do it. Repent if you have. God doesn’t work that way. He is the God who freely gives – even his only Son.
God has ALREADY saved us – we don’t need to do any deals. So let’s live lives that says “thank you” for all that he has done for us in King Jesus.