I just mailed our family voting ballots the other day. I was excited to sit down with Abigail and help her vote for the first time. There are some guys on the primary ballot that I was happy to vote for.
But then, I have been happy to vote for guys before, that disappointed me.
Last night, we were studying Judges chapter 9 in our ongoing Wednesday night Old Testament lessons. It is a very political chapter.
…The men of Shechem have just installed Abimelech as their new leader with the full knowledge that he is a man of terrible character. (He had just murdered 70 of his own step-brothers)
Perhaps Abimelech’s fierceness was attractive to a people who wanted military protection and strength, but the decision to let him “take over” proved fatal. After his installation God spoke to the people through the only remaining brother of Abimelech, Jotham. He pronounced judgement with a parable.
9:7 When Jotham heard the news, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim. He spoke loudly to the people below, “Listen to me, leaders of Shechem, so that God may listen to you!
9:8 “The trees were determined to go out and choose a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king!’ 9:9 But the olive tree said to them, ‘I am not going to stop producing my oil, which is used to honor gods and men, just to sway above the other trees!’ 9:10 “So the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and be our king!’ 9:11 But the fig tree said to them, ‘I am not going to stop producing my sweet figs, my excellent fruit, just to sway above the other trees!’ 9:12 “So the trees said to the grapevine, ‘You come and be our king!’ 9:13 But the grapevine said to them, ‘I am not going to stop producing my wine, which makes gods and men so happy, just to sway above the other trees!’ 9:14 “So all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘You come and be our king!’ 9:15 The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to choose me as your king, then come along, find safety under my branches! Otherwise may fire blaze from the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’
God had never intended for a man to rule the nation, He Himself was who they needed to rule them. However, the people chose, and as the parable and the story show, they chose very unwisely and brought trouble upon themselves as a consequence.
I am voting, and I am glad that I have the privilege of voting, but I am not really hoping in any elected officials. My hope is in God. I do hope that we as a people choose God first, and then vote for men and women of high character. There is a temptation to vote for men and women that we think can get the job done, in spite of known character flaws and compromises. Hopefully we have learned our lesson with that.