Once upon a time, the trees decided to elect a king. First they said to the olive tree, “Be our king!” But it refused, saying, “Should I quit producing olive oil that blesses both God and people, just to wave back and forth over the trees?”
Then they said to the fig tree, “You be our king!” But the fig tree also refused, saying, “Should I quit producing my sweet fruit just to wave back and forth over the trees?”
Then they said to the grapevine, “You be our king!” 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?”
Then all the trees finally turned to the thornbush and said, “Come, you be our king!” 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.”
So, the good sons of Gideon were represented by the olive tree, fig tree and grapevine. Abimelech is represented by the thornbush. The thing I find most interesting isn’t the gross abuse of power Abimelech showed, but rather the respect for service that the other three potential Tree Kings had. They each turned down an opportunity to lead, not because they lacked anything or were merely “followers.”
They turned down the opportunity to lead so that they could continue SERVING.
When I look at things from that perspective, it makes me excited to identify areas of my life where I am already producing fruit that blesses both God and man. I will not lead or follow. I will serve.
Dear Lord, you sent your son to this earth not to take it over but to OVERCOME it. I want to see things differently because of your sacrifice. Thank you for giving me opportunities to serve you and my community of friends and family. Let me remember these blessings when I am confronted with wanting more. Strengthen me and keep me in the pursuit of serving you – my True King. Amen.