Under Gods Command
Abimelech

People who desire power always outnumber those who are able to use power wisely once they have it.  Perhaps this is because power has a way of taking over controlling the person using it.  This is especially true in cases of inherited but unmerited power.  Abimelech’s life shows us what happens when hunger for power corrupts judgment.

Abimelech’s position in Gideon’s family as the son of a concubine must have created great tension between him and Gideon’s many other sons.  One against 70: such odds can either crush a person or make him ruthless; it is obvious which direction Abimelech chose.  Gideon’s position as warrior and judge had placed Abimelech in an environment of power Gideon’s death provided an opportunity for this son to seize power.  Once the process began, the disastrous results were inevitable.  A person’s thirst for power is not satisfied when he gets power-it only becomes more intense.  Abimelech’s life was consumed by the thirst.   Eventually, he could not tolerate any threat to his power.

But this time, ownership had change: Abimelech no longer had power-power had him.  One lesson we can learn form his life is that our goals control our actions.  The amount of control is related to the importance of the goal.  Abimelech’s most important goal was to have power.  His lust for power led him to wipe out not only his brothers, but also whole cities that refused to submit to him.  Nothing but death could stop his bloodthirsty drive to conquer.  How ironic that he was fatally injured by a woman with a farm implement! The contrast between Abimelech and the great people of the Bible is great.  He wanted to control the nation; they were willing to be controlled by God.

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