Read Judges 9:22-33
F. Abimelech’s Tyranny (continued). God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem.
In this chapter of Judges a man by the name of Gaal rose up and influenced people to gather around him, so he could overtake Abimelech. However, Zebul sent word to Abimelech about what was happening and how to stop it.
- God sends an evil spirit. Notice in vss. 22-24 that God sent an evil spirit three years later to punish the sins of the people. First, it seems rather strange for God to send an evil spirit. However, that is what God did in Judges, which means that He can do the same today.
Instead of trying to defend or explain how God moves, we should work on making sure that we don’t sin like those in the text, so we don’t have to deal with the punishment that they had to deal with.
Second, notice that God was punishing both the sins of Abimelech, which included multiple murders, and the sins of the people of Shechem. Their sin was they accompanied Abimelech. It is dangerous to give any assistance to that which is contrary to God’s will.
Third, notice that just because nothing happens immediately doesn’t mean that God has not seen or He is not going to do anything. Let’s work on living by God’s will, so we don’t have to worry about Him sending an evil spirit into our lives.
At the core of God’s will are the issues of making sure that we are saved, by faith in Jesus, and that we are living our lives focused on loving God and others, as we love ourselves.
- Mandatory reporters. Notice in vs. 25 that information was reported to the leader. It is sad to see how many things go unreported in our churches. This makes us accessories to misconduct and leads to unnecessary confusion.
Too often there is quicker reporting of gossip about the church than helpful information to the leader in the church. Let’s work on being mandatory reporters.
If something goes wrong in the church, we will discover at a deeper level that “we are in this thing together.” If you see something, say something.
- Reaping what you sow. Notice in vss. 26-27 that Abimelek is reaping what he had sown. When you come in wrong, you have to always look over your shoulder. But when you come in right, you can trust God to take of you.
Let’s work on moving from one level to the next in the right way, so we don’t have to be looking over our shoulders. This is true of job positions and relationships in addition to the church.
- Ungoldy ambition and loose lips. Notice in vss. 28-29 that Gaal was a man of ungodly ambition. First, it is good to want to live at your maximum. God knows that we want life and that more abundantly.
However, when we try to get more with ungodly means then we run into trouble. We should try to live at our maximum using godly means to get there.
Second, we should make sure that we don’t let people with ungodly ambitions rope us into their ungodly plans. If we are not careful, we can be in an army that we never intended to enlist in.
Third, be extra careful about what you say when you have had a few drinks. You may not remember, but those around you have a way of remembering. Let’s work on avoiding ungodly ambition and loose lips.
- Controlling our tongues and protecting our leaders. Notice in vs. 30 that Zebul heard what Gaal said. First, we should be careful about controlling our tongues anyway. But we should be extra careful about talking against the leader. People have a way of listening and reporting.
Second, Zebul’s anger may have been as much about his self-interests as it was about Abimelech. He understood that his own position was being threatened as well.
In like manner, we should understand that when the shepherd is struck, the sheep are scattered. We have a vested interest in keeping our leader from being harmed. Let’s work on controlling our mouths and protecting our leader.
- Cycle of violence. Notice in vss. 30-33 of this chapter of Judges that without God, violence is vicious cycle. The idea of an “eye for an eye” leaves us with two blind people. But thank God, love is able to break the cycle.
Loving your enemy and forgiving those who mistreat you breaks the cycle. Let’s work on growing in the Lord and helping others do the same, so we can break the terrible cycles of violence that plaque too many of our communities today.Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will. Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.