About Jesus Steve Sweetman
good understanding of the Old Testament will go a long way to help us
understand how God interacts, not only with individuals, but with
Judges 9 we learn about Abimelech. His
father was Gideon, and his mother was Gideon's slave girl.
Abimelech had 71 half brothers which is central to his story.
After Gideon died Abimelech began his campaign to lead
there were no live televised leadership debates back then, Abimelech had
other ways to defeat his opposition.
He simply killed them, all 70 of them, who just happened to be
his brothers. Politics was
one nasty sport back then. After
his opposition was eliminated the people crowned Abimelech as their new
obvious that those who wanted Abimelech to lead them knew that his moral
character was more than a bit deficient.
He financed his campaign with money from the temple
was a shrewd and brutal leader, but as long as he offered people
personal peace, prosperity, and security, they'd gladly submit to him,
despite his deficient moral character.
However, their support began to waver once people realized he was
only interested in his own personal power, peace, prosperity, and
security. This resulted in
social upheaval. People were
becoming agitated and hostile to one another.
They were steeling from one another and killing one another.
Their society disintegrated into one chaotic mess.
Israelis became their own worst enemy, committing national
9 ends with the collapse of the Israeli social order.
In the attempt to overthrow Abimelech, many Israelis were killed.
Abimelech himself was killed when a woman shattered his skull by
dropping a heavy rock on his head. To
avoid the embarrassment of being killed by a woman, he had a servant
stab him with a sword.
might think the collapse of the Israeli social order under Abimelech was
strictly a matter of internal unrest and deficient leadership, but
there's more to it than that. In
Judges 9:23 we learn that "God sent an evil spirit" into
Israeli society to escalate the social unrest that already existed.
Sending this evil spirit into Israelis society was an act of
judgment by God that caused
reason why God sent this evil spirit is important.
It tells us how and why God interacts with nations today.
Abimelech was morally deficient and as long as he offered
Israelis personal peace, prosperity, and security, they gladly supported
him. They didn't care about
his moral deficiencies because they were just as morally deficient.
Morally deficient leadership and the support
of such ungodly leadership is the issue at hand here.
what we learn from Judges 9. God
does interact in the affairs of nations.
When a nation prefers personal peace, prosperity, and security,
over godly leadership, He will not only step back and remove His hedge
of protection from that nation, He might well send an evil spirit into
that nation to further disrupt the normal social order. The
end result is that the nation collapses from within, not from without.
The nation becomes its own worst enemy, committing national
suggest that what you read in Judges 9 is paralleled in today's western
nations. Note the lack of
moral integrity in our leaders. Note
how that doesn't matter to the electorate.
Note that the electorate prefers personal peace, prosperity, and
security over godly leadership. Note
the ongoing scandals in government.
Along with this, also note the increased agitation we see in
people today; in riotous street protests; in the madness on talk radio;
in nasty debates on the 24 hour news networks; and on internet blogs.
Note the financial chaos. Note
government deadlock that prohibits sound economic policies from being
implemented. Note the moral
decay in government, in law, in education, in the media, in the family,
and sorry to say, in that which is called church.
Why is this taking place? Could
the Lord have already stepped back from us and removed His hedge of
protection? Has He now sent
evil spirits into our nations to accelerate the unrest and chaos in our
guess is that many Christians don't even know that the Lord could or
would send an evil spirit into a nation let alone their nation.
You can read Judges 9 and the rest of the Old Testament to draw
your own conclusion about how God interacts in the affairs of nations.
And, while you're doing that, read 2 Chronicles 7:14 to see if it
has any relevance to our present deficient social order.
If it has any relevance, then note who is responsible to bring
change. It's certainly not
our morally deficient leaders.