04-22-07

It was a strange period in Israel’s history.  Frankly it reads much like some of our own lives, filled with ups and downs. For a few years the people would follow the Lord, but then they’d fall away and do the stupidest things.  The days after the death of Gideon were some of those stupid days.  The story in Judges 9 follows one of Gideon’s own sons, a man named Abimelech, a man who wanted to be king.

Abimelech was one of Gideon’s seventy sons, a son of one of Gideon’s many wives.  Abimelech was from Shechem, and Abimelech had this urge to be large and in charge.  So Abimelech gathered the people of his hometown together and gave them a speech about supporting him as the sole successor to his father and having them make him king.  And his mother’s brothers spoke all these words concerning him in the hearing of all the men of Shechem; and their heart was inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, “He is our brother” (Judg 9:3 NKJV).  Sounds like politics to me.

This might not seem like a big deal, until you see the results of their decision.  Abimelech took this support, killed 68 of his own brothers, and started a period of strife, killing, and civil war.  Thousands died as a result of this bad decision.

The thing that really nagged me about their decision was how they came to it.  Did you notice that little phrase, “and their heart was inclined”?  They followed their heart.  They “felt” like following Abimelech.  And the result was disastrous.  Beloved, be careful about decisions based solely on your feelings. Sometimes our heart is wrong.