What kind of world do you want to live in?
Seriously. Think about that question. Because the world you want to live in is ultimately the world you get to live in.
You might say that the Bible is a story about God letting us live in the world we want while rescuing us from it. What do I mean? Take a look at Gideon’s son, Abimelech.
The World He Wanted
He wanted to live in a world where fancy campaign speeches and invisible enemies tricked people into making him king.
“Which is better for you, that all seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal rule over you, or that one rule over you? Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.”
He wanted to live in a world where you dealt with people as potential threats to your own power, rather than your own family. Note the irony that being “bone and flesh” was something he used to get “elected” while he was murdering the rest of his family.
“He went to his father’s house at Ophrah, and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone.”
Remember that little detail about the stone. It will be important.
The World He Got
He got a world where the very people who voted him into office decided to turn against him.
He got a world where another man with a fiery campaign won his constituents over.
He got a world where he won battles, killed his enemies, and took revenge on those who had betrayed him.
But he also got a world where a woman threw a millstone (see!) on his head. He had to ask someone to kill him so he didn’t die in shame because a woman killed him. I guess he learned his lesson from history, sort of.
In short, he got exactly the world he wanted.
The World We Want
So what do we want? What kind of world do we want to live in?
I can’t promise that if we treat everyone kindly, everyone will be kind to us. But I am pretty sure that if we are power-hungry jerks to our neighbors, some power-hungry jerk will find his or her way to us.
God seems to make sure this happens.
The only thing he does in the whole story is ensure that Abimelech and his cronies get exactly what they want. He makes certain that there is justice for the sons of Gideon, both on the one who killed them and on those who enabled him.
God gives us over to what we really want.
God, may we long for the world you want. Make your desires our desires. May we seek peace, reconciliation, restoration, and grace. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
What is one way you will live in the world you want today?