Read Judges 8
Ephraim’s complaint against Gideon; kings of Midian slain; Gideon’s children; his death; Abimelech made king: death of Abimelech.
And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you (Judges. 8:23).
Gideon was called of God to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites. Thirty-two thousand men responded to Gideon’s call to war; but God chose to use just 300 men to defeat the Midianites. The other Israelites were sent home; and, with only 300 men, God defeated 135,000 Midianite soldiers in battle. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon (Judges 8:28). This illustrates a wonderful principle. God would not act without man’s cooperation, and man could not overcome without the wisdom and power of God. However, After this great victory the Israelites urged Gideon to be their king. It was an appeal to his pride. But Gideon knew that it was not he who had saved his people, but God who was the true King. Which in His times He shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords (I Tim. 6:15).
Gideon knew, that as a judge of Israel, he would need God to guide him. However, the Israelites soon forgot that God was the One who had miraculously delivered them from the Midianites. Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually... giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased (Heb. 13:16).
After Gideon’s death, with an appetite for power, his cruel and crafty son Abimelech negotiated a large sum of money from the Baal temple treasury to pay men to murder his 70 brothers. Jotham, the youngest son of Jerubbaal, was left: for he hid himself (9:5). Following the execution of his competition, all the men of Shechem . . . made Abimelech king (9:6). However, at the moment of Abimelech’s proudest achievements, Jotham, the son of Gideon who had escaped execution, issued a warning. They would soon discover that this self-made king would bring suffering and death upon them, as well as upon himself (9:7-21).
Abimelech is an example of a person controlled by the deceptive and destructive forces of pride and ambition. He was determined to gain selfish ends regardless of whom he hurt. He is a reminder to us to follow God always and not to go down the self-righteous path.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Galatians 6:7-8).
Thought for Today:
Humility is the surest way to end strife. (See Prov. 15:33)
By Gideon, who delivered the Israelites from Midian (Judges 8:22-23). The Lord Jesus has delivered us out of the hands of our spiritual enemies, and it is fitting that He should rule over us. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world (Galatians 1:3-4) (See also II Peter 2:9; Romans 11:26).
8:1 chide, quarrel; 8:3 abated, ended, subsided; 8:27 ephod, a sacred priestly garment; went . . . a whoring, they made an idol out of the ephod and worshiped it; 8:31 concubine, a servant wife; 9:14 bramble, thornbush.
Prayer Suggestion: Pray in secret before God, not seeking human praise (Matthew 6:6).
Optional Reading: John 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 5:2