OT Fire Starters – Day 99: Judges 9
READ: Judges 9
THINK: Would you like to be used by God in more powerful and influential ways? Do you feel that this would make it easier to serve and honor God in all aspects of life? While a desire to be used by God is a good thing, it must be accompanied by the discipline to apply godly principles in all you do. When God does something significant through you in one area, it doesn’t guarantee that you’re honoring Him in all other areas. In fact, experiencing God’s power can make it easier to take the power for granted and assume you’re doing okay in every aspect of your life. But God’s blessing brings greater responsibility. Neglecting that responsibility and making reckless choices can lead to severe consequences. Keep depending on God and aim to honor Him in all ways at all times.
RESPOND: How could someone like Gideon, so powerfully used by God, experience such tragedy and wickedness within his family? (See 9:4-5 note.) Why do you think that Gideon’s effective leadership on the battlefield didn’t translate to effective leadership in his home? What evidence do you see of Abimelech’s arrogance, recklessness and cruelty (9:2,4,5)? How could people whom Gideon rescued in the past now turn on his family, murder his son and allow Abimelech to rule them? Why are people so often swayed by dynamic and charismatic personalities? What consequences did the people of Shechem experience for their foolish choice to make Abimelech their ruler (9:22ff)? (See 9:23 note.) In what way did Abimelech and the people suffer judgment and humiliation for their evil acts (9:52-57)? Why and how do many things that people want end up bringing their destruction?
PRAY: Ask God to keep you humble as He uses you so you don’t disregard Him and end up making reckless decisions. Pray that you’ll be faithful to demonstrate Jesus’ character at all times and in all places: home, school, work, church, etc. Ask God to help you be a good judge of character but not to make hasty judgments about people.
ACT: In what contexts of life do you find it easiest to live for Christ? Perhaps you do well at church, gathered with others to worship God and participate in ministry. But where do you find it difficult to demonstrate Christ’s character? Perhaps you’re a different person at work or school than at church. Maybe it’s tougher for you at practice with your teammates or at home with your family. In whatever setting is most challenging for you, make extra effort to honor God and reflect Christ in how you talk to people, how you treat them and how you go about your business.