JUDGES 9

Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.

Bible Reading

And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s relatives, and spoke to them and to the whole clan of the household of his mother’s father, saying, “Speak, now, in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you, that seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?’ Also, remember that I am your bone and your flesh.”

Then he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbal was left, for he hid himself. All the men of Shechem and all Beth-millo assembled together, and they went and made Abimelech king by the oak of the pillar which was in Shechem. Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and called out.

All the people also cut down each one his branch and followed Abimilelech, and put them on the inner chamber and set the inner chamber on fire over those inside, so that all the men of the tower of Shechem also died, about a thousand men and women.

But a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull.
Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father in killing his seventy brothers. Also God returned all the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads, and the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal came upon them.

– Judges 9:1-2, 5-7, 49, 53, 56-57

Devotion

The story of Gideon could easily have ended in 8:28, but continues with the narrative of Gideon’s many concubines and sons, including Abimelech. Gideon may have delivered Israel for the short term, but he was a failure as a father and ultimately as a leader of Israel. In 9:56-57, we see that Jotham’s curse was fulfilled and God seems to be acting with retribution in mind.

The Big Question

This section showed the anarchy that results when anyone but the Lord was the leader of Israel. This also applies to our life. Are there areas of your life that you have disregarded the council and direction of the Lord?

Conclude in prayer and silence, reflecting on what you’ve learned.