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Judges 9:26-57

Talks for Growing Christians

Abimelech’s Treachery

Judges 9:26-57

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Lesson Number 16

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God repays the wickedness of men.
  2. God allows evil to repay evil.

Practical Application

  1. Remember, your spirituality is not inherited by your children.

Questions

  1. Who was Abimelech? What position did he fill? Was he a proven leader?
  2. Who was Gaal? Who was Zebel? What part did they play in the falling out between Abimelech and the inhabitants of Shechem?
  3. What was the result of the confrontation between Abimelech and the inhabitants of Shechem?
  4. What was the story about the tower of Shechem?
  5. Why did Abimelech sow salt over the city?
  6. What was Jotham's parable about?
  7. How was Abimelech's evil repaid?

Answers

  1. He was the son of Gideon. He became a judge and a ruler. No, he did not lead his people well.
  2. Gael became a judge, and he challenged Abimelech. Zebel was one of Abimelech's men in the government of Shechem, who informed Abimelech of this challenge.
  3. Abimelech attacked and defeated Gaal, then he attacked Shechem and defeated it, killing the people and demolishing the city.
  4. Abimelech attacked and defeated Gaal, then he attacked Shechem and defeated it, killing the people and demolishing the city.
  5. It made the ground barren for any would-be rebuilders.
  6. It was about the people of Shechem unwisely choosing a "bramble," the least of the trees (Abimelech), to be their ruler.
  7. A woman dropped a millstone on his head, then he asked his armor bearer to pierce him with a sword, so it would not be said that a woman killed him.

Discuss/Consider

  1. God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, and God repaid the wickedness of the men of Shechem. Does it seem to you like evil is going unchecked around you? Never doubt that God will ultimately repay evil for evil. Read Romans 12:19 and Revelation 20:11-15.
  2. God allows evil to repay evil. Note the account of Abimelech and the Shechemites. Recount some of the evil kings, both in sacred and secular history, who were brought down by other evil kings. God has designed this moral universe so that evil eventually backfires. This principle can also operate in the state, the church and the home.

Challenge

  1. Contrast the spirituality and morality of Gideon and Abimelech. Gideon was a spiritual man, a good man. His son, however, was evil. Spiritual gifts are given to individuals as determined by God, but spirituality comes from walking with the Lord. Parents, teachers and Christian leaders are given the charge to raise children in the instruction of the Lord. But the children have the responsibility to obey that instruction.

Key Verses

  • "All the evil of the men of Shechem God returned on their own heads." Judges 9:57
  • "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord." Romans 12:19
  • "I saw a great white throne...and I saw the dead standing before God, and books were opened. The dead were judged according to their works." Revelation 20:11-15

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