History of the Period of the Judges Judges 3:7-16:31, cont’d.
Judges 6:1-8:35 Oppressor: Midianites and Amalekites…Deliverer: Gideon, cont’d.
Judges 8:1-3-At one time earlier, the other tribes were afraid to join in battle against their oppressors (5:15-17). But now, when they are assured of victory, they get angry for not being called to be a part (cf. 8:1-3). Sounds like a lot of wounded pride and false bravado. Ephraim complains about not being called to the battle until it was already begun. But Gideon humbles himself and brags on them, saying that what they did by capturing the two kings (7:25) was far greater than what he did.
Judges 8:4-9-While Gideon is pursuing the enemy he comes to two cities, Succoth and Penuel and asks them for food. They deny him saying that the battle isn’t over, yet. What if they end up losing? Then the kings of Midian will come back and punish them. So, Gideon says that if that is the way they feel, when he returns he will give them the punishment they are anticipating, himself.
Judges 8:10-13-Gideon catches up with the enemy and kills them.
Judges 8:14-18-On his return, Gideon punishes Succoth and Penuel, just as he had warned.
Judges 8:19-21-Gideon tells his son, Jether, to kill the two enemy kings but he did not do so, because he was a youth...so Gideon did so, himself. For Jether to have killed the two kings it would have honored him in front of the warriors and brought even greater humiliation to the enemies of Israel. But he lost his chance.
Judges 8:22-23-The people ask Gideon to rule over them, but he says that the LORD shall rule over them.
Judges 8:24-27-Gideon requests a gold earring from each man of Israel. He takes the gold and makes an "ephod". The people worshipped it in an idolatrous manner. How sad. What could have been a great victory for the Lord became a terrible disappointment.
Judges 8:28-35-Gideon had 70 sons...he had many wives and a concubine. One of his sons was named Abimelech. As soon as Gideon died the people rebelled against the LORD. They worshipped false gods and claimed “Baal-berith” to be their god. “Baal-berith” means, “Baal of the covenant”. They were falsely worshipping this pagan god as the God of the covenant, the LORD God. It is not enough to just worship God, we must also worship Him correctly (cf. John 4:23-24).
- It isn't enough for us to begin well with God. We must continue on throughout our whole Christian life. Gideon, in his later years, had to look back to see anything done for God. All those works were in the past.
- "Perhaps it is easier to honour God in some courageous action in the limelight of a time of national emergency than it is to honour Him consistently in the ordinary, everyday life, which requires a different kind of courage." (Cundall)
David Guzik :: Study Guide for Judges 8,
Judges 9:1-57 Abimelech’s Treachery and Tyranny
Judges 9:1-6-Abimelech (Gideon's son through a concubine from Shechem, 8:31)...had himself made king by his mother's family...he killed all but one of Gideon's other sons (Jotham). The words “on one stone” (:5) suggest that their execution was done in public.
Judges 9:7-21-Jotham, the only son of Gideon who was still alive, speaks out against Abimelech and predicts that his own people will rebel against him. His story suggests that just as bramble bushes offer can offer no real security, neither would Abimelech. Jotham then had to run for his life and hide.
Judges 9:22-25-Abimelech ruled over Israel for three years...then his own people began to rebel against him.
Judges 9:25-49-Gaal gained the trust of the people of Shechem. Abimelech's lieutenant (Zebul) found out and sent word to Abimelech and told him to lay a trap to catch Gaal. He did so and destroyed him. Abimelech then attacked Shechem and burned down its tower into which the leaders had retreated. They all died in the fire. Abimelech then “sowed it with salt”. This was a symbolic act to demonstrate the condemnation of the city (with actual consequences since the salt ruined the soil for planting a crop).
Judges 9:50-57-Abimelech attacks the city of Thebez. He is fatally wounded when a woman throws a millstone and it hits him on the head. He had his armor bearer kill him so that it could not be said that a woman had killed him.
Prayer: Lord, I pray that Your presence and ministry in my life will continue long after I am dead, and gone. Please use me to influence others for You. Let Your work in me continue on in their lives so that You will be honored...for generations to come. I pray for my family…that every child, every grandchild, every one of our descendants, will accept Jesus as their Savior and will live for Him their entire lives. Please, Father…let our family be a godly lineage to Your glory!