“And the fig said to them, ‘Should I end my sweetness and my good fruit and shall I go to dominate the trees?’” (Judges 9:11)
The fig has rejected the request of the trees, making this the second denial that the people receive. And, once again, the implication is that the fig tree understands the cost of dominating the other trees — the way humans lead when they reject God’s authority and timing — the way Abimelek will lead… Good fruit disappears and is replaced by the bitterness of force.
It is also worth noting that once again, the kind of tree being appealed to is not a large, stately, and powerful tree, like a cedar, but the fig and the olive are smaller and more frail. They would not be able to “shake over” the other trees even if they wanted to. The suggestion can be made that the trees didn’t really want a true ruler who could compel them to do this or to do that. Instead they wanted a king that they could control like a puppet. Remember, it was not Abimelek who initiated the agenda to be made king, it was his mother by her choice of names (Abimelek means, “My father is king…” How people love to look at the world around them and be jealous of the things that the pagans have, but oh, how people do not wish to receive the consequences of such things.
And thus, there is a second denial. The people should have understood their folly by that point…but then again, how often we become so filled by our foolishness that the greater the wall God places against it, the more desperate we become to embrace the foolishness wholeheartedly. In the end, it is sin, no matter which way you look at it. And sin brings death.