Judges | Day Seven
By: Taylor Cage
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Toward the end of Gideon’s life, he had a son with his Shechemite concubine. After Gideon died, Abimelech started to attract a following. Abimelech wanted to rule over the people as king, but Abimelech had a problem standing in his way.
Read Judges 9:1-6. What was standing in Abimelech’s way?
What did Abimelech do to fix his problem?
Who was accidentally left?
After the people of Shechem thought that all of Abimelech’s sons were dead, what did they do?
Now, think about the state of Israel at this point in the story. Gideon died and the Bible didn’t have to tell us explicitly that the people did evil in the sight of the Lord. Instead, we get the details that make it clear that’s exactly what they’re doing...again.
This is their first attempt at a monarchy. This is their first attempt at a king. And it’s a disaster.
Read Judges 9:7-15. Describe Jotham. Do you think he is a godly man?
What does Jotham’s story about the trees mean?
Now read Judges 9:16-21.
Essentially, Jotham predicts the downfall of Abimelech. He knows God will not allow this man to be the leader of His people. Not for long at least.
What does Jotham have to do because of Abimelech?
Read Judges 9:22-57. How long did God allow Abimelech to lead?
What did God do to get between Abimelech and the people of Shechem? Retell the story of what happens when Abimelech leaves Shechem.
Ultimately, what is Abimelech’s downfall? How does he die?
Why did Abimelech not want to die at the hands of a woman? Can you relate this part of the story to another chapter of Judges?
Think about the woman who dropped a millstone on Abimelech’s head. How does she remind you of Jael? How is she also like Shamgar?
This woman used what she had, just like Shamgar. She also didn’t let her place as a woman hold her back from fighting for what was right in the name of the Lord.
Read Judges 10:1-5. Who are the next two judges that the Bible names?
Do you notice a change in the pattern when the Bible talks about these two judges?
The Bible doesn’t mention an external battle that these judges are raised up to fight. However, these two judges are more likely concerned with restoring the internal peace of the people of Israel rather than fighting battles with other nations. The Bible hasn’t mentioned the people living in peace or rest since the death of Gideon.
At this point, the people of Israel were their own enemies. At this point, they needed to be delivered from themselves. And in God’s grace, He brought down Abimelech and raised up judges to restore the peace and rest in Israel.
God knows that peace within the nation of Israel is important. And that’s still true for His children today. Living in peace doesn’t just mean outside the walls of our communities and churches but inside of the walls too.
Are you living at peace with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Why or why not?
One of the biggest problems that the children of Israel had is that they didn’t do much self-evaluation. And that’s crucial for our health as believers. So take some time and evaluate where you’re at. Evaluate where you’re at in your relationship with God and evaluate where you’re at in your relationship with others. Ask God to reveal areas of unrest in your life.