Judges 9

Judges 9 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence

Thus far in the book of Judges, we have seen at various points in Israel’s history how God has raised up men to save His people from their oppressors, and that each of these men, no matter how flawed and weak, still point the reader to the ultimate savior, Jesus Christ, who would save his people from their bondage to sin and Satan. But in this particular chapter we don’t see a savior at all but, rather, an anti-savior, or an antichrist who, instead of relieving the burden of the people and allowing them to enjoy a period of rest, actually adds to their anxieties and even declares war upon the seed of the savior himself.

Abimelech is the illegitimate son of the savior-judge Gideon via one of his concubines. Perhaps the favorite of Gideon himself, he appears to be loved by him more than all seventy of his legitimate offspring, for even though Gideon refused to take up the kingship, he called this servant child Abimelech which means “my father is king.” And the impropriety of this relation and particularly this unexpected name seems to have led to the young man’s covetousness and bloodlust. But although it may have all begun as a matter of envy, the devil certainly used this man to steal, kill and destroy entire towns in Israel, rivaling even the evil works of the Canaanite marauders.

Jotham, the only son of Gideon to escape the destroyer, later stands on Mt. Gerazim, the usual place appointed by God to pronounce God’s blessings upon Israel, to pronounce a bitter curse upon those who helped Abimelech to come to power and to carry out his evil deeds. Instead of cursing them with some outside evil force, he instead prophesies through a parable that their own evil hearts would their undoing, for God would use their selfish wickedness to destroy one another. Then, as soon as the pronunciation is made, Jotham again flees for his life from this God-forsaken people. In this case, Jotham represents the faithful testimony of the church in the world in dark times who continue to look to God’s perfect justice to overrule the wicked schemes of the world in league with the antichrist.

And as long as the spirit of the Antichrist aims for the destruction of society, the church must continue to confront that society with the truth of God’s Word, and she will continue to do so from generation to generation through God’s mysterious providence. For although it seems at times as if the world and the antichrist are absolutely intimidating and invincible, our God still sits upon His holy throne and is sovereign over all things. At anytime He can and will turn the tables on them, even using their own desires and powers against them. And in the end, the seed of the woman will crush the head of the seed of the serpent and all God’s people will rejoice.