Summary: Although none of us are perfect and we can still have fears, God can take one godly thing we do in life and grow the Kingdom of God exponentially!!
Again, part of worshiping God is to listen to His Words and learn godly applications for our lives. Please open your Bibles to Judges 9….. Last week we noted one of Gideon’s sons, Abimelech, proclaimed himself king and killed all of his brothers; but the youngest brother Jotham escaped.
In Judges 9:7-20, Jotham warned the Israelites to check their hearts when making Abimelech king!
I’ve asked Tim Jaenchen to read for us what happened next to the Israelites in Judges 9:21-57…..
Let us summarize what happened after Jotham preached to Israel….
v21: fear indicated Jotham’s humanity after speaking for God
We don’t read anything more about Jotham after this; what do you think this indicates??
Jotham had that one purpose in life!
Although Jotham spoke for God only once, it was significant in building God’s Kingdom! Even though Jotham was a godly man and God spoke through him, he still had fears about life!
v22: God allowed evil Abimelech to rule for 3 years!
v23-25: God sent an evil spirit for Abimelech and the people to fight against each other to avenge the murder of Gideon’s sons.
v26-29: An outsider Gaal came and roused the people to go against Abimelech under his leadership.
v30-34: Abimelech was warned about the uprising and planned to ambush Gaal and his men.
v35-50: Abimelech attacked Gaal and killed most of his enemies!
v51: There was strong tower in the city to which people took refuge! Now, God does not tell us who built it or why it was still there inside the city but there was a strong tower to which people could take refuge in. What do you think is significant about this??
God does not tell us directly but it seems that God kept that tower for a purpose: one purpose is for people to take refuge in! And do you think those people who went to the top of that tower feared for their lives??
Now, what do we note in v52-53? Can you picture what happened? It was like a scene from a Monty Python skit… This mighty warrior all dressed up for battle, with a fire torch in his hand to burn a tower, then plunk…. a rock from the sky hits Abimelech’s head and cracks his head! And what do we hear from Abimelech? He said “I am not dead yet!”, but he was dying and so he calls his armor-bearer…
v54-55: Abimelech’s dying words were “I don’t want to be known killed by a woman!”
I believe there are at least 4 things to note from v52-55: What do you think??
1. people can die with pride and arrogance still in their heart!
2. do not be overconfident on self because God can bring justice suddenly in many ways!
Abimelech didn’t see it coming!!
And we can note that it was known immediately that a woman dropped the stone, but yet God never identified the woman and we never hear about her again!
3. God can use anyone, like the woman, for one single event and impact God’s Kingdom! Remember that we noted this as well for Jotham!
4. God is not a male chauvinist and honors women when appropriate!
And to summarize the story of Abimelech….
v56-57: eventhough it took at least 3 years, God brought justice to wickedness!
I’d like us to think of at least 4 important biblical principles from this passage:
1. God will allow evil to happen to bring justice, but God will bring justice against wickedness!! In connection to what we noted last week, there will always be challenges and hardships in our lives but never forget to have right hearts for God because God will eventually bring justice to all wickedness!! Memorize Ecclesiastes 12:14…….. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
Secondly, we note an outsider named Gaal got involved in the chaos in Israel!
2. We should not be surprised that ungodly chaos will attract more chaos!
Are there ungodly chaos happening today? Stay away from ungodly chaos!
And like He did for the remaining Israelites in Judges 9….
3. God will always provide a refuge in spite of our fears!
And lastly, how many of you have heard of Dwight L. Moody??
How many of you have heard of Edward Kimball??
Likely millions of people have been touched and more will be impacted by the ministry of Dwight L. Moody! Today we have Moody Church in Chicago! Many missionaries in the world are ministering based on the foundations from Moody Bible Institute! Many godly lessons can be learned from Dwight L. Moody! But all these things accomplished and much more for the Kingdom of God will happen because one day while Dwight Moody was selling shoes, Edward Kimball shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ to him!