Abimelech, son of Gideon from his concubine of Shechem conspired to usurp the power left vacant by the death of his father. Although, Gideon told the Israelites neither he, nor his sons will rule over them (Judges 8:23), Abimelech turned out to be quite different from his father. He was a power hungry man who showed no regard for human life. After swaying his countrymen from Shechem to choose him as ruler over his 70 half-brothers, he proceeded to his father’s house to murder all his brothers. Jotham, the youngest son of Gideon however, was able to escape.
There was no outcry nor justice for such a detestable act against Gideon’s household despite what Gideon had done to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites.
After Abimelech was crowned king, Jotham, confronted the citizens of Shechem. He brought the case against the people for not acting honorably and in good faith toward his father who had rescued them from the hand of Midian. The citizens of Shechem had revolted against his father’s family in choosing Abimelech as their king.
Jotham places a curse upon the people of Shechem and Abimelech, saying that fire may come from Abimelech to consume Shechem, Beth Millo and vice versa.
Abimelech governed for 3 years before God avenged Gideon’s sons from their gruesome death. A new comer to Shechem, Gaal, son of Ebed stirred up the people against Abimelech. Soon Abimelech set out again on his treacherous act. This time it was against his own people of Shechem. He slayed the people, burned their stronghold and besieged their city. When he tried to climb the tower to which the people of the city fled to, his skull was broken by a millstone dropped by a woman. His armor- bearer later drew his sword to kill him in order to save his face from being killed by a woman.
Our God is a God of justice. Man may think he can escape from the judgement of this world, but it is the sovereign God who is in control. No one will escape the judgement of his sins, yet in His justice, He is also a God of grace, a God of love. When we confess our sins and repent from it; although we may still suffer the consequences of our bad choices, we can be assured that the final punishment of our sins befall on the perfect, sinless sacrifice of God-son, Jesus. Our suffering in this world is but for a little while, for we will surely be reconciled with our Heavenly Father for eternity. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! —- Lai Yee Leong