Today in the city by the bay, our beloved, San Francisco, history for secular freedom will be made. Yes! Get your friend an report to the county clerk for a license and a quick, legal marriage. And then get all the benefits from such a legal contract, and social status among your peers. . .OR NOT! Stand by: The federal appeals court is expediting this ruling! . . . For the fire of the tumbleweed is coming.
The separation of the influence of the church from the state of California schools including all great cities within it, has caused a secular society that will thumb their noses at the morality the church reverently teaches. Even though the appeal to the James R. Browning Courthouse has been moved up.
The story is found in the book Shof’tim (Judges) (The Message) classified under the Nevi’im Rishonim (Early Prophets), in the Tanakh (Old Testament) and chapter 9. It tells simply of the son of Gid’on (Gideon the general who led Isra’el to victory over the Midianites (around 1150 BCE), Avimelekh (“of the king” Abimilech). Since his father had refused to be king, but rather yield to God as their king, when he died, Isra’el fell into secular complacency.(1)
When Avimelekh was 25, he went to his mother’s brothers who were influencial leaders in the foot-hill town of Sh’khem (“backside” Shechem) centralized in the promised land. He spoke to them boldly about how they had only two choices politically, that they would be ruled by his 70 brothers, or by himself and that at least they could relate to him as their nephew. That was a no-brainer. They easily agreed, gave him 70 pieces of silver to run his campaign, and he hired an army of roughneck mercenaries.
It was really no contest aparently, because within a short period of time they arrested all of his brothers and executed everyone of them, one at a time, except for little brother Yotam (“Yahweh is upright”, Jotham), who managed to hide himself, and escaped being executed. Then Avimelekh was made Isra’el’s king by the leaders in Sh’khem, it was official.
When Yotam found out what had happened, he went up to the top of Mount G’rizim (“desert dweller” Gerizim) and shouted at the top of his lungs for all the Sh’khemites to hear,
“Listen to me all you Sh’khem leaders and God will listen to you!” He began. He told a parable of the all the trees in creation asking several plant species to be their king. First the olive, then the fig, then the grape vine, then the thorn bush, or tumbleweed. Each of the plants said that if they were king over the trees that they would not be able to be productive with their special fruit. . .until the tumbleweed. He said that if he were king that the trees would have to bow down to be under him and if not that fire would come out of the tumbleweed and burn the cedars of L’vanon (“white mountain” Lebanon)
Then he explained his point: “If you have acted in truth and integrity when making Avimelikh your king and you think you have done well for the house of Gid’on, and you have done to him as his hands have done for you–He defeated Midian (“strife”)! And you have contracted to kill all 69 of my brothers, and made the son of my father’s slave girl to be your king–because he is your nephew?–then go ahead and rejoice in him, and he will rejoice in you. . .And if not, may fire come out of him and consume the leaders of Sh’khem, and may fire consume Avimelekh!”(2)
And so to make a long story short, The young Yotam runs away to Beer (“well”) to hide from his brother. Avimelekh serves as king for three years, and maintains an army of mercenaries who managed to war with the rebelious population, and, as it turned out, burned with fire all the people hiding in a huge tower, and all the leaders with them. Then the death of the king was by a woman throwing a millstone to crush his head, making a fatal wound. He was shocked a woman did this, and commanded his buckler to kill him.(3)
This is how God paid back a rebellious youth for not honoring his father. The moral here can be applied further, since it is the 9th chapter of Shof”tim (Judges). Like the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals justice is reviewing the overturning of Prop 8, but has to rule in agreement for the minority plaintif. It will go to the supreme court. The bottom line here is not freedom or liberty. It is about integrity and truth. God knows all about secular politics. Immorality will be judged, if not today, soon enough–and with everlasting fire.
(1) The Reese Chronological Bible, Bethany House Publisher, Minneapolis, MN 55438, Page 408
(2) The Complete Jewish Bible, David H. Stern, JNT Publications Inc. Clarksville, MD page 281
(3) The Interlinear Bible, Hebrew-English, Volume 1 Gen-Ruth, J.P. Greene Sr., Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 1985, page 657
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