Badda-bing, Badda-boom... Hey-oh... Forgetaboutit!

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, October 1, 2016 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

It's almost like it jumped off the pages of an old style mafia novel, or off the screen of a Godfather movie. When you read this week's passage, and you catch what's going on, you can almost hear Abimelech say, "Badda-bing, badda-boom... hey-oh... forgetaboutit!"

Read Judges 9:1-21. Did you catch how "mafia" like Abimelech is in his hostile takeover of the "business"? This conspiracy and rise to power is not only a massive betrayal, it's an outright slaughter on the level we might expect of Adolf Hitler. Abimelech strikes a deal with his mother's extended family by letting them know that if they support him in coming to power, he will be sure it goes well with them. The expression, "I am your bone and your flesh..." appears to be a reminder that 'support' goes both ways. (Hey-oh, we're faaamily... forgetaboutit)

His family gives him 70 pieces of silver to initiate his rise to power. It's no coincidence that there were 70 sons of Gideon ruling over Israel. This is blood money, a price on their heads, and exactly what Abimelech asked for. He hires his hit men and slaughters his brothers on a stone. Abimelech is then crowned king.

Jotham, his youngest brother, escapes, and after Abimelech is crowned king he speaks out against Abimelech and those who supported him. (This parable by Jotham is also the "curse" of Jotham referred to at the end of Abimelech's story.) According to some Jewish commentaries, this parable compares great leaders who were unwilling and yet brought about great things (great fruit like the olive and fig trees), against a briar/thorns that do not bear fruit and are only fuel for a fire (an unfit leader). Essentially, Jotham is saying to all of Israel that the ambition of Abimelech will lead to his own downfall and the downfall of all those who supported him in killing the sons of Gideon. If Abimelech is a man of integrity, then they have nothing to fear, but if not then the thorny briar will eventually be burned, and everyone hiding in its protection will be consumed in the flames with it.

Jotham goes into hiding as Abimelech's power grows, and we are left to consider this moment in light of our own situation in America. True to Jotham's parable, a leader will be shown for who they really are through their leadership. Deceit and conspiracy cannot remain hidden, and the blood of innocent lives destroyed will not be silenced by power. Truthfully, I have never been more undecided going into an election year. Not because I can't decide which is a more 'Christian' leader - I have no delusions of acquiring or maintaining an enculturate religious philosophy that has no real fruit from God's character, nature, and Kingdom. My perspective is IN the world and aware of what cultural Christianity is, but not OF the world and not seeking the imitations of godliness without power.

My God is God of ALL. He is not fazed by an election any more than He was fazed by Abimelech's treachery. God was still working and seeking to get Israel back on track with Him, but it wasn't going to be a quick fix. Israel had to learn to get their eyes off of kings and power and earthly rulers. It took generations of history to move the cultural needle even one degree away from the desire to be like other nations and have powerful military kings. And still today, we wrestle with seeing kings and presidents as our saviors and our protectors. So much so that we still have conspiracies, we still have murderous climbs to power, and we even break into open street fighting over candidates. I am not interested in a culturally 'Christian' leader. I am not interested in who will line my pockets or make my life easier.

I am interested, like Jotham, in God's plan to bring justice to us as a people, to open our eyes to His ways, and to establish His Kingdom through our lives representing Him as the one true King! Anything else is short of true faith in Jesus Christ.

We must pray and seek God's will for whom He will put in office, and we must do it understanding that He may allow an Abimelech to come to power, in order to expose and burn out the selfishness with which we decide our nation's direction.

  I am praying for God's leading and will vote for whomever He says. I may be sick at the choice, but I will make it trusting Him to bring about what is good for His Church, this nation, and all nations.

What about you? Will you trust God that much with your vote? Or will you hide, whine, blame, accuse, etc.?

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