The Renegade Who Lusted for Power

We should run the Christian race with sobriety, for our eternal life is at stake. Let others pursue for enjoyment what they will, but in our race everything vital is at stake. The eternal consequences of losing should motivate us to a greater effort than that put forth by those m … More


It is interesting to note that after Judges 8 Gideon’s name per se is never mentioned again. In Judges 9 he is always called Jerubbaal! He took many wives and raised a family of seventy sons for which his family would suffer bitterly. God had warned future leaders through the law about taking many wives (Duet. 17:17). His marriage to a concubine resulted in the birth of a wicked son, Abimelech.

As he grew up he began to plot how he would promote himself to the position of king. He gained the support of the men of Shechem largely because he was the son of Gideon and he acted with the vigor characteristic of his father, but without his father’s scruples. He persuaded the people of Shechem to follow him in the raid against his brothers at Ophrah where he murdered seventy of them.

By this evil act, Abimelech became the undisputed leader of the Schechemites and they immediately made him their king (vv. 1-6). People with selfish desires often seek to fulfill them in ruthless ways. Examine your ambitions to see if they are self-centered or God centered. Jotham, Gideon’s youngest son was the only one who escaped the slaughter of his older brothers. He daringly stood on one of the lower ledges of Mt. Gerizim and challenged the people to reconsider this choice of a king. He did it in parable form which was both a protest against the shameful treatment given to the house of Gideon and a prophecy of what will happen to Abimelech’s rule (vv. 7-15).


When I go against the principles laid down in God’s word I will suffer the consequences just as Gideon did. I need to discuss these principles with my family.

Judges 9:1-15 (English Standard Version)

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