Tag: Judges 9-12
Scripture reading for March 12th: Judges 9-12
All authority comes from God and the Bible declares that God alone places people in authority. (Psalm 75:6-7) When God places someone in authority, His anointing and counsel guide that person. The person must stay under God’s anointing and follow His directions.
Gideon was such a man! He brought peace to the land for a period of time as he followed God. When Gideon passed away, a leadership crisis arose. The Israelites went back to idol worship and Abimelech, the son of a slave girl, arose to take over his father’s place. He went to his mother’s town and relatives and proposed to take over leadership. They paid him some money from an idol temple and he hired mercenary soldiers. They killed 69 of his seventy brothers. Jotham, the youngest, escaped. (Judges 9:7-21)
The Scriptures state that God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem. God did this to avenge the shedding of innocent blood of the brothers. Abimelech and the citizens of Schechem had conspired to commit murder and now they would fall under judgment! (Judges 9:22-24) This evil spirit was God’s judgment on a self-appointed leader and those who joined with him in rebellion!
God places leaders for our good, protection, and blessing. When a leader follows the Lord, the people are blessed. When someone places themselves in leadership by his own power, craftiness, or manipulation, then both the leader and those who scheme with him come under God’s judgment! We must be vigilant today in our country. Politics and media are always at work trying to manipulate people. Even the church may have these leaders! Beware– God’s judgment will come on those who appoint themselves!
Shechem’s punishment: “So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died.” (Judges 9:49)
Abimelech’s punishment: “Abimelech went to the tower and stormed it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull. Abimelech had his armor-bearer kill him so he did not die at the hands of a woman.
Scripture reading for March 12th: Judges 9-12
“Likewise, whatever the Lord our God has given us, we will possess.” ( Judges 11:24)
A spirit of faith is a wonderful gift. It comes from choosing to believe and obey God. Jephthah, one of Israel’s judges spoke these words. Jephthah was an interesting man who was born from the union of his father and a prostitute before his father married and settled down. Jephthah was later rejected by his stepmother and fled his family when threatened by his stepbrothers. He was ridiculed and made fun of because of his shady background. Jephthah learned to fight and became a mighty warrior.
The Ammonites rose up and began to make war against Israel and the elders of Gilead approached Jephthah to come back home and help them fight. They promised him headship over the Gilead tribe if he would help them. They swore before the Lord that they would do just that. (Judges 11:10-11) Jephthah began negotiations with the Ammonites, seeking to persuade them to back off. They refused to listen. (Judges 11:28) Jephthah knew that God had given the land to Israel and he would not let it go. (Judges 11:21-23) What God had given them to possess, they would possess!
The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah and he moved to attack these brash Ammonites. As he advanced, he made a vow to the Lord to give to Him whatever came out of the door of his house when he returned from the battle. (Judges 11:31) God gave him an overwhelming victory and they possessed the land that was theirs and defeated their enemies.
The bad news was that as Jephthah arrived at home, his beautiful virgin daughter danced out of the door of his house to meet him! She was an only child and was deeply loved by her father and mother. Jephthah remembered his vow and evidently kept it although it hurt him deeply. (Judges 11:35-39)
There are several lessons that we can get from this interesting story. First, our background should not keep us from walking in faith. We are not victims, but victors through faith in God! Second, be careful what vows you make. Sometimes our words can be careless and vows are serious issues. We must let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no”. (James 5:12) When God has called us to fight, He will give us the victory. We don’t have to bargain with Him to get Him to act on our behalf! God is for us!