Tuesday, 10th January 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-21 Walk in Confusion
V1-2 ‘Then Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem, to his mother’s brothers, and spoke with them and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying, “Please speak in the hearing of all the men of Shechem: ‘Which is better for you, that all seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal reign over you, or that one reign over you?’ Remember that I am your own flesh and bone.”’ In the previous chapter, Jerubbaal said to the people that he would not rule over them, and his children would not rule over them. But we come to know that he still asked the people for gold to build the ephod for himself. Jerubbaal, also called Gideon, was already living in confusion, he had many wives and seventy children, and Abimelech was one of them.
Furthermore, we can see that Abimelech was in Shechem, away from Jerubbaal, it seemed that he did not have a close relationship with his father, and he wanted to overturn his father’s leadership. When the people heard Abimelech, they decided to follow him and gave him money from the temple of the idol. V4 ‘So they gave him seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless men; and they followed him.’ The people were living in confusion, they did not know which way was the righteous way. We also must know the way we are walking upon, to walk in the light, not in darkness.
When we refuse to follow God, then we will stay in more confusion, we will become our own king, and we will become the king of others. The meaning of Abimelech is ‘my father is king’, even though Jerubbaal said he would not rule over the people, he also gave names to his children in order to show that he’s the king.
Abimelech killed all his brothers but one. V21 ‘And Jotham ran away and fled; and he went to Beer and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.’ Jotham knew what his brother did was wrong, but he was afraid, so he ran away. When the darkness covers the earth, our lives will be filled with confusion. And very often, we will not realise that we are living in confusion.
Section Two V22-49 Be Wrong Again
V22-24 ‘After Abimelech had reigned over Israel three years, God sent a spirit of ill will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, that the crime done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might be settled and their blood be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who aided him in the killing of his brothers.’ What was the spirit of ill? It was represented by Gaal the son of Ebed, who followed Abimelech in the past, but did not stay faithful to him. When Gaal came against Abimelech, he also led the people of Shechem to turn against Abimelech.
We must be alert and see the when there are evil desires in our lives, when we are not walk in the righteous way, then those who were for us will end up coming against us. God waited three years for Abimelech to turn back, but when he refused the turn away from his evil deeds, God’s hand struck on him. Do we know God is giving us a chance to turn back? Are we still being stubborn and not listen to God’s teaching? When we live in confusion, then there will be a gap for the enemy to come in.
V46-47 ‘Now when all the men of the tower of Shechem had heard that, they entered the stronghold of the temple of the god Berith. And it was told Abimelech that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.’ The tower of Shechem was where the leaders gathered for matters of the city. They were the important people of Shechem, but now they chose to enter the stronghold of the temple of the idol to protect them. As leaders they led the people away from God and this decision caused destruction of the city.
V48-49 ‘Then Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him. And Abimelech took an ax in his hand and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it and laid it on his shoulder; then he said to the people who were with him, “What you have seen me do, make haste and do as I have done.” So each of the people likewise cut down his own bough and followed Abimelech, put them against the stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire above them, so that all the people of the tower of Shechem died, about a thousand men and women.’ Abimelech called the people of Shechem his own ‘flesh and bone’ when he needed them to overturn his father, but now when the people come against him, Abimelech killed all of them with cold blood.
Section Three V50-57 Completely Defeated
V53-54 ‘But a certain woman dropped an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull. Then he called quickly to the young man, his armorbearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, lest men say of me, ‘A woman killed him.’ ” So his young man thrust him through, and he died.’ At the end Abimelech still died in confusion. Even at his end, all he cared about was his name not to be destroyed, but he was completely defeated.
We must examine ourselves, see into our lives closely, are we really walking in God’s Light and His Righteous Way? The darkness has covered the earth, let us arise and walk into Light!
士师记 9 – 黑暗遮盖大地
V1-3 “管理”原文代表王的管理。亚比米勒的父亲耶路巴力（基甸）曾经对以色列人说过他和他的儿子都“不管理你们”，然而他给自己在示剑的妾所生的儿子起名叫“亚比米勒”- 意思是“我的父亲是王”。耶路巴力表面上说不管理以色列人，却在儿子的名字中表明自己的野心。神没有在士师时代拣选王，但耶路巴力自己要做王，不愿意跟从神。在这样的混乱中，黑暗遮盖大地。我们以为自己能掌握大地，但在黑暗中我们最后得到的就是混乱。