Book of Judges Chapter Nine 
(Part Three)

Introduction: A key idea in Judges is that God blesses obedience and punishes disobedience. Today, we hope to continue discussing Abimelech’s tyranny.

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Read Judges 9:34-56

F. Abimelech’s Tyranny (continuation). Abimelech and his men came and destroyed Gaal and his men. Here in Judges we see the people of Shechem tried to flee, but Abimelech pursed and killed many of them.

Some were even burned in a tower. As Abimelech and his men sought to destroy an area known as Thebez, he was hit in the head by a woman above him. One of his servants killed him. The text ends with a mention of Jotham’s curse having come upon them.

Applications –

- Lying. Notice in vs. 36 that Zebul lied to Gaal about the men coming. First, God hates a lying tongue. As much as possible, we should strive to be truth tellers and promise keepers. Second, sin leads us into all kinds of trouble.

Remember the role that sin played in getting us to this point. In like manner, sin can get us into some messy situations. Let’s work on living right, so we can lessen the number of messy situations that we find ourselves in.

- Two faced people. Notice in vs. 38 that Zebul went from talking with Gaal to essentially condemning him. In like manner, people can switch on you so quickly.

Those who you thought were for you can become against you. Thus, we need to make sure that we live for God and according to His will.

In this way, no matter who is with us or against us, we can stand in the Lord. Let’s live for Jesus, so we can avoid some of the drama of being betrayed by people.

- Violence. Notice in vss. 39-57 the violence in Judges. First, the text is describing what happened, not prescribing what we should do. We should seek wisdom to know what to do and what not to do, as we study God’s word.

Second, sin leads to all kinds of bad things like violence. Let’s strive to live by God’s will, so we can avoid some of the drama that we see in the text.

At the core of God’s will for us are the issues of making sure that we are saved, by faith in Christ, and that we are living lives focused on loving God and others, as we love ourselves.

- Sin based relationships. Notice in vss. 42-49 how Abimelech is killing those who used to be his allies. We should remember that when relationships are based on sin, anything can happen at any time.

It can be challenging to maintain healthy relationships, when both parties are trying to live for the Lord. But when sin is the norm, we set ourselves up for moving from being friends to foes in a few verses.

Let’s work on building godly relationships, instead of unstable sin based relationships. Think about how this applies to co-habituating (i.e., shaking), jumping on a gossip band wagon, etc.

- Mercy killing. Notice in vs. 54 that Abimelech called for a man to kill him, so it would not be said that he died at the hands of a woman. This raises the issue of “mercy killing” – killing a person as an act of mercy or an act of putting them out of their misery.

Try to move past the example of the text and think about the mercy killing of those who are in high pain, low quality of life, and begging for death.

Cancer, other diseases, or a serious accident can put us in some unthinkable situations. There are some who think withholding life prolonging treatments (this is different than comfort care) are the same as mercy killing.

Let’s seek God’s wisdom and courage to deal with these issues today. On one hand, we should do all that we can to use our “lives” as God is calling us to use them.

On the other hand, when that “life” is gone and we are left with a very low quality of life, we may do well to revisit our convictions. We should be thankful for the sufficiency of God’s grace.

- Reaping what we sow. Notice in vss. 55-57 that the wickedness that was done was repaid. We should be so careful how we treat people. God has a way of seeing that we reap what we sow.  

Let’s work on sowing love, so we can reap love. There may be some time between sowing and reaping, but God can be trusted to see that we reap what we sow, either in time or eternity.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will.

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