Judges 8:33



The Bible says in Judges 8:33-35, “And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baal-berith their god.[34] And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:[35] Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.” How quickly some people turn away from the Lord. That is why Jesus asked the question, “When the Son of man cometh, will he find faith on the earth?” That is why we are told that in the last days, “There shall be a falling away.” Verse thirty-three also shows the critical importance of good leadership. When did the children of Israel turn away from God? They turned away as soon as Gideon died.


When the children of Israel turned away from the one true God, they turned to a false God. Every human being serves a god. If you do not serve the Lord Jesus Christ, then you serve and worship a substitute: someone or something else that takes the place of God in your heart. Notice that verse thirty-four says that they “remembered not the LORD their God.” One way to keep serving God faithfully is to keep remembering the Lord and what He has done for you. Jesus died for you on the cross. The Spirit touched your heart and brought you to Jesus. God blessed your life millions of times to guide you and provide for you. One would think it to be easy to always remember God and all His benefits. But it will take an effort and a desire. Seek the Lord, and He will be found.


Verse thirty-five shows us that when develops a hard heart to God, they will also mistreat believers. Jesus said that we are not greater than our Lord. If they hated Him, they will hate us also. Just make sure that you do not hate them back. Here is the number one reason for anti-Jewish and anti-Christian sentiment in this world: the people who have such hatred are of the wrong spirit. The evil Spirit hates God’s people.  


The Bible says in Judges 9:1-6, “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,[2] Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.[3] And his mother's brethren spake of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother.[4] And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him.[5] And he went unto his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself.[6] And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem.” This is a story of the lust for power. Things have not changed in thousands of years. Some people still have this type of lust. It started with Nimrod when he established the first human kingdom, called Babylon in the book of Genesis; and it will end with the antichrist ruling over the last human kingdom, also called Babylon in the book of Revelation. The seventy pieces of silver were probably paid to Abimelech so that he would use the money to get rid of the seventy brothers. Abimelech used deceit, and money, and bad people, and violence to gain the power that he wanted.  


The Bible says in Judges 9:7-20, “And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.[8] The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.[9] But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?[10] And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us.[11] But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?[12] Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.[13] And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?[14] Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.[15] And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.[16] Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands;[17] (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian:[18]  And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother;)[19] If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:[20] But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech.” After Abimelech killed the seventy sons of Gideon, there was still one son left whose name was Jotham. Jotham immediately went to the people of Jotham, and Jotham spoke to them. That is all that he did. He did not seek vengeance, but he did seek to tell the truth. We can see that Jotham was a thinker and a spiritual young man. Jotham told the people of Shechem a parable that had to do with choosing a king. The conclusion to the parable is found at the end of verse fifteen that says if the people did not do right in the choosing of their king then, “let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.” Jotham relies upon justice from God. That is why when he tells the people of Shechem to “let fire come out,” that Jotham is expressing his desire for justice, but Jotham himself is not going to get revenge. That is the attitude that God wants the servants of Christ to have. Remember God. God said, “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay


The Bible says in Judges 9:21-24, “When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel,[23] Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:[24] That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.” The words that Jotham spoke did come to pass. No human being did anything to fix this terrible situation, but God something. God is in charge of all people. God can change any heart at any time so that the person will do what God wants them to do. By the way, God is doing that every day with every person. How you respond to the people around you will demonstrate how much faith in the every-where present God. God gave Abimelech three years, and then verses twenty-three says that “Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem.” Why did God wait three years? That we do not know, but maybe to give Abimelech a chance to repent. That certainly is happening now. The judgment is coming, but God is waiting to see who will turn to Christ. Hurry up and turn. Your time is running out. Verse twenty-four makes it clear just why God decided to intervene: “That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.” A holy God must bring justice against the unholy ones. A holy God must punish sin. How fortunate believers are because we have Jesus who took our punishment on Him.


The Bible says in Judges 9:25-33, “And the men of Shechem set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.[26] And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him.[27] And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode the grapes, and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech.[28] And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is not he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him?[29] And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.[30] And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.[31] And he sent messengers unto Abimelech privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee.[32] Now therefore up by night, thou and the people that is with thee, and lie in wait in the field:[33] And it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, when he and the people that is with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion.” All of these things happened involving all of these people because it was God’s will. God decided to do this to bring judgment on Abimelech, and used all these people and dealt in their hearts and made it happen. This is just one example. Every incident in life is God leading and causing and doing. He is God.  


The Bible says in Judges 9:34-57, “And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.[35] And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from lying in wait.[36] And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.[37] And Gaal spake again and said, See there come people down by the middle of the land, and another company come along by the plain of Meonenim.[38] Then said Zebul unto him, Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them.[39] And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.[40] And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown and wounded, even unto the entering of the gate.[41] And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.[42] And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech.[43] And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people were come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them.[44] And Abimelech, and the company that was with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two other companies ran upon all the people that were in the fields, and slew them.[45] And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.[46] And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith.[47] And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.[48] And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder, and said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done.[49] And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.[50] Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it.[51] But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut it to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower.[52] And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire.[53] And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to brake his skull.
[54] Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.[55] And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place.[56] Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:[57] And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal
.” Abimelech was a violent man. He lived and ruled by violence. But God saw and God knew. Abimelech thought that he would just keep killing in large numbers and thus increase his power. But God said, “no, it is time for your violence to stop.” Just as the case where God used the woman Jael to use a nail and send Sisera to hell, God also used a woman to bring Abimelech’s life to an end. Jesus said, “They that live by the sword shall die by the sword.” The life of Abimelech was an example of that true teaching. God is in control. Jotham did no violent acts, but only spoke words of truth. Jotham was the victor.     




Copyright; 2020 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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