Jotham's parable to the people was prophetic. If they were going to trust Ablimelech as their leader (who was the "bramble") - he was not only going to be ineffective in keeping them safe, but he was going to be the cause of their destruction...
Thus far in the Bible read-through, there haven't been many references to angels or demons; but now in Judges, we have a verse which says that God "sent" - or allowed - an evil spirit to disrupt the relationships between Abimelech and his people, influencing their behavior somehow in order to bring about "poetic justice" from God...
A plot was hatched against Abimelech, and a man named Gaal stepped forward. He gained the people's trust by offering to restore the ancient Shechemite aristocracy and lead the people...
From this we see:
- a "curse" is a solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something
- God is the righteous Judge and will deliver the appropriate judgments and consequences on people
- God is all-knowing and knows why and when to allow demon activity to happen
- if people are dabbling in cults and religions which involve demons, it should come as no surprise when they come up against demon activity
Personal experience: demons definitely can influence discord among people, especially if they are already behaving dishonorably. Hence the saying, "There is no honor among thieves."
Remember my story from yesterday? About the friends who betrayed me in grade 9? They obviously had been plotting against me for some time.
At one point the entire group of "friends" had gotten together and written a letter to me. It was very hurtful. And silly me, I went back for more. I actually sought them out and pleaded that they take me back as a friend; but this "reconciliation" did not last long.
A few weeks later, all of them gathered together somewhere and called me on the telephone. They took turns telling me everything they thought was wrong with me. Why did I not just hang up??? I'm not sure. Maybe I thought I deserved what I was getting??? Interestingly, one of their items of disgust was that I was a hypocrite. In the back of my mind I knew that was actually true. It just sounded funny coming from them.
Anyway, as I explained yesterday, after being hurt so very deeply, and finding myself all alone - because - who knows what my "friends" had told the entire school - AND I had drifted away from God - who IS my actual one-and-only "soulmate"!!! I realized that doing things God's way was far better than trying to appease these fickle girls. I moved on and reconciled with God, and in my heart I forgave those girls so I wouldn't hold any grudges.
Was it "poetic justice" from God? It did not take long for this group of girls to start turning on each other, and eventually there was a huge fall out. The group of "six-strong" fragmented into about 5 tiny, unhappy pieces. And the good news was, eventually one of these girls rededicated her life to God and came to me to TRULY reconcile.
Today's takeaway: God may choose if and when there is a "curse" to be experienced; but we have no business in cursing anyone or anything! Our focus is pure and simple: love God - love people...