Beware the Seduction of Power
Today’s reading: Judges 9:1-10:5
My selection: Judges 9:1-2
Now Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s relatives and said to them and to the whole clan of his mother’s family, 2 “Say in the ears of all the leaders of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you, that all seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal rule over you, or that one rule over you?’ Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.”
My reflections: Gideon had to be coaxed by God to take a leadership role in Israel. This was not true of his sons. There arose a controversy between the illegitimate son of Gideon, Abimelech, and his 70 other sons. Abimelech won over his mother’s relatives in Shechem to make him their ruler. Once established he killed the 70 sons of Gideon. Eventually, however, even the people of Shechem would grow dissatisfied with Abimelech and he would be overthrown.
An aspiring leader must seek the Lord’s direction and timing to move into a position of authority. Gideon, timid and hesitant as he was, could not avoid the role that God had designated for him. Abimelech, aggressive, violent, and conniving as he was, could not hold on to the role not designated for him.
Jesus’ disciples fought among themselves for first place but Jesus told them that was not the path to greatness.
42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
My challenge: Do you aspire to a powerful position? Are you willing to be a servant and wait for God to give you the position He has for you? Are you resisting God’s calling to you for a position of influence? Will you trust Him to sustain you in that role?
Seek to serve Christ faithfully whether in a very visible position or in obscurity.
Tomorrow’s reading: Judges 10:6-13:25