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Judges 9

Legacy

What kind of legacy am I leaving behind? Am I leaving a good example to follow? Will my children be Godly men who wholeheartedly follow after Christ? What do my words, actions, inactions, and mannerisms reveal to them about my daily walk?

I hope and pray that I do a better job than Jerubbaal, or Gideon. This man, who God physically appeared to in the form of an angel, who subsequently delivered Israel from the Moabites, apparently decided to sit back on his haunches and not do much afterward. In fact his actions caused Israel to sin, and he did not stop it.

Gideon made a sacred ephod from the gold and put it in Ophrah, his hometown. But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family. – Judges 8:27

The obvious thing would have been to immediately destroy the ephod, melt it down. But instead it became a trap for Gideon and his family.

If that was the creation of the trap, it was set as a result of Gideon’s pride and indiscretion. He had a child with his concubine, another word for that is slave-girl.

He also had a concubine in Shechem, who bore him a son named Abimelech. – Judges 8:31

He had seventy other sons with assorted wives. Um, can you say profligate? He apparently had a slight issue with the ladies. In that culture, no problem, marry them. You can have as many wives as you want.

Well, Gideon dies and his son Abimelech decides that he needs to be the one in charge. Why? Why Abimelech? Why not one of the other seventy sons?

Words have power, words have meaning. Abimelech, means something. It means “father is king”.

Who knows how often he actually saw Gideon, he lived in another town. But he did know that his name meant that he is the king’s son. Upon his father’s death he decided to claim his legacy, and these so-called brothers whom he hardly ever saw. Well, there was no love-loss or relationship there. They even called him son of the slave.

And you have chosen his slave woman’s son, Abimelech, to be your king just because he is your relative. – Judges 9:18b

He’d show them what the slave woman’s son could do. And he did.

He hired some “worthless human beings” – that is literally what the text says – and made a blood sacrifice to Baal.

He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and on one stone murdered his seventy brothers, the sons of Jerub-Baal. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerub-Baal, escaped by hiding. – Judges 9:5

Killing them all in a ritualistic manner, on one stone, can only be viewed as a sacrifice to his god Baal.

Pain, sorrow and eventually justice came to those who helped and made possible Abimelech’s abomination.

Gideon had other plans. He did want a bright future for his people and family. He had good intentions. Unfortunately the trap that he had set years earlier was never dealt with, and it sprung.

The son who escaped being killed, his name was Jotham. It means Jehovah is perfect.

Oh Lord, so many plans, so many mistakes. Please help me to be a man who truly follows after you. I want to leave a Godly legacy. May my children all grow up to love and serve you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Walk with God. Jan

Judges 7

The Weapon

In the book of Judges, in the section about Gideon, there is a dream and an interpretation of that dream is given. I’ve always been a bit puzzled by it. God tells Gideon to take his armor-bearer Purah and reconnoiter the enemy camp.

When Gideon came to the enemy camp, he heard a man telling his friend about a dream. He was saying, “I dreamed that a loaf of barley bread rolled into the camp of Midian. It hit the tent so hard that the tent turned over and fell flat!” – Judges 7:13

Now I don’t know about you, but my interpretation of the dream would have gone something like the following.

“Well obviously this is about the fact that we haven’t brought enough food with us. These Israelis can barely feed themselves. Look how many of us there are! We’re going to have to scour the countryside for food or we will all collapse in hunger.”

But no, a different interpretation was given by the friend.

The man’s friend said, “Your dream is about the sword of Gideon son of Joash, a man of Israel. God will hand Midian and the whole army over to him!” – Judges 7:14

Huh? Where did that come from?

An interesting thing happens when you dig into the etymology of words. you find that the Hebrew word for bread is ‘Lechem’. However, this word has a root word of ‘Lacham’. This word means to fight or to battle, in addition to eat or consume. The word for rolled is the Hebrew word “Bo”. Another meaning of that word is to fall-upon, as in an attack.  So this round cake of barley bread attacked and beat down a tent.

Stay with me.

Gideon means “hewer”. Which means, “to strike forcibly with an ax, sword, or other cutting instrument; chop; hack.”

Notice that the friend who interpreted the dream doesn’t say that the cake of bread is Gideon attacking the camp. No, he says, “Your dream is about the sword of Gideon…”

The hewer’s tool (or weapon) forcibly struck the enemy camp and leveled it.

The friend, understanding the symbolism and words behind them, saw the full implied meaning – they were going to be hewed down.

Funny thing is that they themselves were the instrument of their own destruction.

When Gideon’s three hundred men blew their trumpets,  the LORD made all the Midianites fight each other with their swords! – Judges 7:22a

Father, may I listen to my friends. Often times they have knowledge or revelation that I desperately need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I’m feeling sleepy. Jan