Archive for February 9th, 2012

Judges 9

Judges 9 is a soap opera of family issues.  Abimelech decides he should be the leader of the pack.  He comes into town and plays the family card and then kills off almost all the other relatives.  He was actually “the son of….female servant” and only a half brother to most of the seventy sons of Jerubbaal which he killed.  But the leaders of the city had “hearts inclined to follow Abimelech”, and he takes over control.  He really isn’t a leader – he is actually just a thug.  “Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, who followed him”.  When you can’t get people to follow – and you are determined to be a leader or at least look like one – you hire people or buy them.  That certainly happens in our political world today.  Abimelech is a bad guy who takes control of things with power rather than by true leadership. 

But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself”.  This young man was the lone one of the brothers left.  He had hidden away as the rest of the seventy were killed by Abimelech.  The people “made Abimelech king” – not necessarily because they wanted him – but he was the only guy left along with the young boy Jotham.  Jotham knows this a wrong, and he takes to the street to tell a parable of just how bad what is happening truly is.  He reminds the people “my father fought for you and risked his life and delivered you from the hand of Midian”.  There is that remember thing again.  It is amazing how quickly we forget.  But he was out on a limb with no real support, so “Jotham ran away and fled and went to Beer”.  Quite a city name isn’t it?  Jotham fled and just stayed out of the way while his brother the bad guy took over as king. 

A guy by the name of Gaal shows up and begins to challenge why Abimelech should be king.  In fact he sort of moves in and takes over some of the city.  He plants seeds of doubt and asks “why should we serve him”?  Amazing how the desire for power can cause people to do things to try and take it away.  He was busy “stirring up the city” against Abimelech and is doing a pretty good job of it.   Gaal is a cocky guy and irritates Zebul who is the leader of the city.  So Gaal gets set up and soon finds himself in a battle with Abimelech.

Abimelech has some success in driving out the enemies from cities in the area.  But one day his luck ran out.  “A certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull”.  That had to hurt.  It is interesting that scripture doesn’t give us any details about this heroess at all. Just a random woman who throws a millstone and manages to knock this king down.  Abimelech has no intention to die at the hands of a woman, so “he called quickly to the young man his armor-bearer and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, lest they say of me, ‘A woman killed him”.  That is a serious issue with perception.  There is no way Abimelech is going to let a woman be his demise.  He seemed to get away with evil as he took over the kingship without any real right.  His evil was not forgotten, and while he had some successes along the way – God made things right in His time.  We must never forget who truly is in control!

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