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knowing your place

June 11, 2009

While reading this morning (thanks YouVersion), this passage came to stick out to me:

8 One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king.’

9 “But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and men are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’

10 “Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’

11 “But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’

12 “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’

13 “But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and men, to hold sway over the trees?’

–Judges 9:8-13

I have to admit, this passage was an easy one to just flip through, but i tried to slow it down this morning. i didn’t skim through, but tried to find something that was hidden in Judges 9 just for me. I found it!

when i read this passage, i’m struck by the parable Jotham shouted to the people as he was speaking against Abimelech, who had just killed 70 men…his half-brothers…his relatives. Greed had driven Abimelech to murder his half-brothers and greed had driven him to seek the throne of his father.

Jotham had such wisdom in this passage. How many of us when asked to be something we are not created for would turn it down if we thought it would bring us some glory? would we be like the trees in this story that refused to give up what they were created for in order to be something they weren’t meant to be?

If i offered you a position where the money was better would you take it? most of us would…but would we be willing to do what we were created for…even if it meant less money? less prestige? less power? less glory? less stuff? would we take a new job or position that doesn’t really fit us just so we could say we have it?

are we guilty of “holding sway over the trees” rather than being who we were created to be? i know the call to sway over something has grabbed me more than once. today i can say i’m happier doing what i am doing than i have been in years. i know i’m doing what i’m supposed to do…even if i’m not at the top swaying over others, i’m doing my part and knowing my place!

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