Saturday, April 25, 2015

April 25 - Judges 9

Today's reading in our daily plan is Judges 9. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • With Gideon dead, Abimelech takes over leadership and becomes king.  In his pursuit to become king, Abimelech attempts to kill his 70 brothers.  He succeeded with one exception.  Gideon's youngest son, Jotham, escaped.  
  • Jotham tells a parable to the people of Shechem to discourage them from having Abimelech as their leader.  He calls down a curse on Abimelech and the people of Shechem.  
  • Three years later God fulfills Jotham's curse by sending an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem.  
  • As a result the city of Shechem was destroyed and Abimelech died.  

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Israel's king was to be God and not a man.  In his arrogance, Abimelech wanted to take over the position reserved for God alone.  And oftentimes our goals control our actions.  In his selfish quest, Abimelech killed all but one of his 70 brothers.  People with selfish desires often seek to fulfill them in sinful ways.  
  • God deals with evil in His time.  Abimelech was far from what God wanted as a judge of His people.  However, it was three years before God moved against him.  We often wonder why evil seems to prevail for so long.  God promises to deal with sin and evil, but in His time, not ours.  

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • What are you hoping to accomplish in the next year?  In your lifetime?  Examine your motives to see if they are self-centered or God-centered.  Beyond that, be sure to always fulfill your desires in a way that would honor and please God.  
  • It's good news that God doesn't punish sin and evil immediately because we have all sinned and deserve God's punishment.  God, in his love, often spares us from immediate punishment and allows us time to repent and turn from our sins back to Him.  Is there any area of regular disobedience in your life that you need to repent from?  In your repentance, thank God for His patience with you.