sunset darwen tower

Day 16 The trees once went forth

Another day ends and it seemed like we had all the weather conditions again. The morning started well and it was quite warm and dry. Suddenly we had thunder and lightning and the snow, followed by hail and then the day finished with bright sun.

Judges 9:7-16

Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and cried out. And he said to them:

“Listen to me, you men of Shechem,
That God may listen to you!

This is the introduction to the parable of the trees. Our days can start like this, with big ideas, your own ideas, not Gods. Or perhaps you manage to find time to say some powerful prayers. The problem is if you then leave the prayers in the prayer room and forget about them.

Today God taught me a lesson; I must apply my prayers to my day if they truly are from the heart, otherwise things will go like the parable. If effect I didn’t even listen to myself so God would listen to me.

Do you ever do that; say a prayer and immediately go about your daily business never to think on the words that you so grandly said to God?

Darwen bush
God’s glory in nature

Why must we fear and respect God? Moses was told to take his sandals off as he was on holy ground. God’s glory in nature is obvious.

God will keep you to task. God is the best friend you will ever know; He’ll tell it you straight, He’ll keep you grounded when you start to get very fanciful, He’ll support you when you need it, He’ll be there when you need Him and He can lift your mood or suddenly stop your day in its tracks. I know this because I have experienced this. He is not someone you are to fool with, if you say something to God – be sure that He will listen and hold you to what you said.

darwen sunset
Darwen sunset canvas

Parables are wonderful things. They show us aspects of God or how to live our lives. They also relate to our daily lives in a rather bizarre way. You might say they are like looking at God through an artists impression of what God is, rather like the picture above is a rather nice picture of the sunset, but it doesn’t come close to the real thing.

Darwen sunset
Darwen sunset

Judges 9:8-15

“The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them.
And they said to the olive tree,
‘Reign over us!’
But the olive tree said to them,
‘Should I cease giving my oil,
With which they honor God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’

10 “Then the trees said to the fig tree,
‘You come and reign over us!’
11 But the fig tree said to them,
‘Should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit,
And go to sway over trees?’

12 “Then the trees said to the vine,
‘You come and reign over us!’
13 But the vine said to them,
‘Should I cease my new wine,
Which cheers both God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’

14 “Then all the trees said to the bramble,
‘You come and reign over us!’
15 And the bramble said to the trees,
‘If in truth you anoint me as king over you,
Then come and take shelter in my shade;
But if not, let fire come out of the bramble
And devour the cedars of Lebanon!’

I wonder whether some days we act like these trees, making excuses about why we don’t act in a holy way, why we don’t perhaps make time for God, making excuses why we don’t listen to the bidding of the Holy Spirit, why we don’t listen to our own prayers and go and act upon them.

Like when Jesus went to raise Lazarus from the tomb and He had to ask the people to take away the stone, he didn’t just spirit it away.

John 11:38-44

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

I wonder whether God groans as He listens to our voices and thinks; “Come on, I’ll do My part, but you have to do yours!”

I pray that we should be thankful before God the Father, that He has set our King up, Jesus, our heavenly Saviour who did deliver and listen and do the words of His Father.

I pray that we should be thankful that the Son’s prayers to spare all who come to Him. That Jesus showed with a perfect life how to live so that we can try to be like Him.

I pray that I should show more commitment to my prayers to act upon them in the hope that the Holy Spirit will direct me into a better life, pointing to Christ, confessing Him to all who would have ears to hear.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen

Blessings

Graham

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