Jealousy rises up and why (Judg. 8:1). After Gideon's death one son conspires against his brothers and murders all but one. Are we surprised at whom God uses to remove the wicked son? Abimelech's "accident" and death.
Verses for Today:
Abimilech . . . slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal. . . . And all the men of Shechem . . . made Abimelech king. . . . God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech . . . And all the evil of the men of Shechem . . . and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal (Judg. 9:4-6,56-57).
Gideon was called of God to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites (see 6:14-16). Thirty-two thousand men responded to Gideon's call to war; but only 300 men qualified and the others were sent home. With only 300 men, God used Gideon to defeat 135,000 Midianite soldiers. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon (8:28). This illustrates a basic biblical principle. According to your faith, be it unto you (Matt. 9:29). God does not act without man's cooperation, and man can not overcome without the wisdom and power of God. Then the Israelites urged Gideon to be their king. But Gideon knew that it was not he, but God, the True King, who had saved His people. And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you . . . the Lord shall rule over you (Judg. 8:23).
After Gideon's death, the Israelites soon forgot that God was the One who miraculously delivered them from the Midianites. With an evil ambition for power, Abimelech negotiated a large sum of money from the Baal temple treasury to pay men to murder his 70 brothers. Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal (Gideon) was left; for he hid himself (9:5). Following the execution of Abimelech's competition, all the men of Shechem . . . made Abimelech king (9:6).
Jotham, who had escaped execution, warned the people that they would soon discover that this self-made king would bring suffering and death upon them as well as upon himself (9:7-21). As Jotham foretold, they soon brought about their own destruction in choosing Abimelech (9:22-57).
Abimelech is an example of a person controlled by the deceptive and destructive forces of pride and selfishness. He was determined to gain his evil ends regardless of whom he hurt. He is a reminder that whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption (destruction); but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Gal. 6:7-8).
Thought for Today:
For this is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous (I John 5:3).
By Gideon, who delivered the Israelites from Midian (Judg. 8:22-23). The Lord Jesus has delivered us out of the hands of our spiritual enemies, and it is fitting that He should rule over us. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world (Gal. 1:3-4; II Pet. 2:9; Rom. 11:26).
8:1 chide =contend; 8:3 was abated =subsided; 8:9 in peace =victoriously; 8:12 discomfited =defeated; 8:26 collars =necklaces; 8:27 ephod =priestly garment; whoring =qorshiping false gods; snare =atumbling block; 8:32 sepulchre =tomb; 9:2 your bone and your flesh =your relative; 9:4 vain and light =worthless and reckless; 9:17 adventured =risked; 9:20 fire =fiery destruction; 9:25 liers in wait =men in ambush; 9:38 mouth =boasting; 9:52 went hard unto =approached; 9:56 rendered =returned.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Dan Murton • Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd (Retired) • Government Official: Sen. John Ensign (NV) • Country: Chile (15 million) on the southwestern coast of South America • Major language: Spanish • Religious freedom • 73% Catholic; 20% Protestant; 1% Other; 6% None • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that faith is a vital tool in your prayer life to ensure your prayers are answered (Rom. 12:3).
Optional Reading: John 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9-10