Does anyone ever get the sense, while reading the history of Israel, of the absolute humanness that was theirs? In my Bible, the heading for chapter 9 is “Abimelech's Conspiracy.” I’m thinking, wow, here we go again. Abimelech slyly schemed to place himself in a position of authority and power over his people. He killed his 70 brothers and had himself made king. Not on the same level of these murders, but still displaying the heart’s desire to be first, Jesus’ own disciples jockeyed for position and desired to be first in the kingdom. We love to be first in lines at the traffic light, at dinner on the grounds, getting on the airplane, at the cash register, etc. Different situations, but the same heart issue.
And then there were the judges Tola and Jair and Jepthah and Ibzan and Elon and Adbon, and last of all, Samson. Throughout all these years, over and over again, Israel proved to be disobedient and the Lord gracious and faithful. Oh, to walk more closely and faithfully with our God!
Teach me to do the thing that pleaseth Thee;
Thou art my God, in Thee I live and move;
Oh, let thy loving Spirit lead me forth
Into the land of righteousness and love.
Thy love the law and impulse of my soul,
Thy righteousness its fitness and its plea,
Thy loving Spirit, mercy’s sweet control
To make me liker, draw me nearer thee. -- John S. B. Monsell (1861)