I am teaching Old Testament Survey in my Adult Sunday School class. Our study last Sunday was Judges 9. In chapters 7&8 Gideon was raised up by God to deliver Israel from their 4th. apostasy. He does so miraculously. Then in 8:22-23 we see, "Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also...(he responds:)I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you." Ju. 8:30-31 tells us he had 70 sons, and one illegitimate son of his concubine named Abimelech. In Judges 9, Abimelech goes to Shechem to his mother's brethren and says, "Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal (Gideon) , which are threescore and ten persons(70), reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh." I WANT TO BE KING! Verse 3 shows their political campaign works and v4 campaign contributions come from the "house of Baal-Berith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him." Does this sound familiar? Next, they go to Ophrah to kill all the other candidates, the 70 sons of Gideon, which they did on one stone. Strangely enough the very last son of Gideon, Jotham hid himself and was spared. He goes up to the top of Mt. Gerizim and shouts out a parable to the men of Shechem: The trees (men of Israel) went to the olive tree (Gideon) asking him to be king and he declines. Then the trees go to the fig tree and vine (sons and son's sons) with same result. Finally, "Then said all the trees unto the bramble, (Abimelech) Come thou, and reign over us." Jotham continues the parable and says in v19-20, "If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem and the house of millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of millo, and devour Abimelech." They have 3 years of honeymoon and then v23, "God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem." Verse 24 tells why. Read it!
EVERY KINGDOM ESTABLISHED BY BLOOD AND DECEIT IS RUN BY BLOOD AND DECEIT AND EVENTUALLY RUINED BY BLOOD AND DECEIT! Abimelech fights the rebellion in his political party and finds himself at the tower at Thebez. Vs.52-53 state, "And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire. And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to brake his skull. Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him."
Prov. 16:12-13, "It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness. Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right."
It is a sad day in the History of America, and yet this is more of the "Unraveling before my traveling." I think it is entirely possible that God has sent an evil spirit to put us to confusion and shame. (Isa.24:1-15)
Ps. 106:13-15, "They soon forgat His works; they waited not for His counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." I am glad I am saved and on my way to Heaven!