And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's brothers, and communed with them…
1. How proud the bramble was! "Come and put your trust in my shadow." Are boys and girls proud? I think so. And yet they have no more reason to be proud than the foolish bramble. They are entirely dependent on the bounty of a gracious Providence, and He hates pride. But why are we proud? We cannot boast of our clothes — these are given to us by animals. Why, what is more beautiful than the butterfly, that flits about in the sunshine, or the tiny flower growing by the roadside? Both insect and flower appear in better coats than we.
2. Another thing we may notice about the bramble — its insufficiency for shelter. It said to all the trees: "Come, put your trust in my shadow." The lesson to be learnt from this parable is the folly of false trust. The Bible in many places warns us against false trusts. It warns us against trusting ourselves. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool." Some trust in riches. This is not safe. For riches sometimes take to themselves wings and fly away; moreover, they profit not in the day of wrath. Then in whom shall we trust? In the Lord, for we read: "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes." We should trust in Him for our salvation. There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.
3. Then, the weakness of the bramble reminds us of its insufficiency for defence. Such a plant could easily be trodden down. The careless ox cannot crush the cedar, or the olive, or the fig-tree so easily as it can crush the bramble. A defence indicates the existence of enemies. You and I have enemies, and it is necessary that we should be guarded against them. They are round us — on every hand. Jesus Christ is not only a shelter, but a defence.
4. The bramble reminds us of sin. Sin is like a thorn. It pierces, it irritates, it wounds.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his mother's brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying,