Judges Chapters 8:22 – Chapter 9


Well, in our last two studies we have looked at the life of Gideon

A)A man that God called out of  Obscurity to be a man that was used mightily by the Lord


B) First study focused on Gideon’s calling & commission by the Lord

1)   2nd Study focused on Gideon’s faith & leadership in leading the people into Victory


C) We pick up the Story of Gideon tonight in Ch.8 V 22 when Gideon returns from his great Victory

1) It is a passage we might entitle– Gideon’s Sad ending { RD v.22-23


Some suggest this was Gideon’s greatest victory – greater than his overturning the idol of Baal - / Greater than defeating Midianites

A)Gideon’s greatest Victory – was refusing the temptation to be King – and turning the eyes of the people back to the Lord – { Rightful King


B) God had raised up Gideon to be a Judge but the people wanted to make him king – and start a royal dynasty with his sons

1)   This however was not God’s revealed will – or plan – but one the people had borrowed from the nations around them


C)Israel was not like the pagan nations around them that had a King – God was their King

1)   God meant Israel to be a THEOCRACY – a nation that was led & ruled by God Himself – rather than an earthly King –


 D)Gideon realized this: And declared rightly to the people – It was a great personal victory for Gideon

1) Now this is where the story should end – It would be an awesome ending to a great Story – Gideon refusing the role of King – Let God rule us!!


E)But Gideon’s greatest triumph would be followed by his greatest mistake 

Though Gideon says he doesn't want to be a king, in the rest of the chapter he goes on to act like one.

A) His words are humble, but his actions are not. It's easy to talk humility and service to God, but it is harder to actually live it


B) He starts by asking for this special offering – Gold earrings from the plunder

1)   It was the custom of the Midianites to wear gold earrings – so it is possible they Israelites picked up in the battle 135,000 gold earrings


C) One weight of the earrings was 1700 shekels – about 60 LBS worth

1)   Today’s standards $ 150,000 to $ 200,000


Now what Gideon does with this gold is interesting – He fashions it into an Ephod –

A)The Ephod was the apron like vest that was worn by the High Priest –


B) On the front of the Ephod was the Linen breastplate that contained the two stones the Urim & Thummin – used for discovering God’s will


C) So the Ephod was the symbol of the High Priest –


Now what is interesting about the book of Judges is there is no mention of the High priest in the Book of Judges –

A)So it seems that there was this real void of spiritual leadership during the time of the Judges { Possible the Priesthood was corrupted


B) We could give Gideon the benefit of the doubt in suggesting the Ephod was an attempt to erect a symbol of God’s victory & need for God’s leading

1) So Gideon might have meant well but his act was spiritually disastrous – as we read in v.27 All of Israel played the Harlot with the Ephod – Snare …


C) It was a monument to his own ministry and it became a snare!!!!



NOTE: When ever you study revivals throughout history you notice a pattern

A)It begins with a MAN gifted by God-  He is given a MINISTRY


B) The MINISTRY blossoms and becomes a MOVEMENT

1) The MOVEMENT  then begins to construct a MONUMENT



1)   Man-Ministry-Movement-Monument-Mausoleum


D) When that happens - The ministry becomes like a Machine – The Machine that was set up to bless & Serve the people – ceases to do that

1)   Instead the people begin to serve the MACHINE


E) Thankful that in Calvary we have not done that – “The House that Chuck built”– CCCM – Modest place – No monuments


So Gideon sets up the Ephod as this monument to his great victory and the people end up playing the Harlot with it

A)The term playing the Harlot always refers to Spiritual unfaithfulness to God – Idolatry


B) V.33 adds that as soon as Gideon died the people again played the Harlot with Baal

1)   So the Worship of the Ephod during his lifetime led to total apostasy after his death


C) Gideon’s mistake was erecting an image – Forbidden by the Law

1)   Had Gideon paid attention to the detail of God’s word – He nor God’s people would not have ended up in this mess


Gideon’s kingly lifestyle is also seen in the fact that he had many wives v30

A)Occasionally an ordinary Israelite had more than one wife – but large scale Polygamy was practiced only by the rulers – { only ones afford it


B) Now Gideon not only adopted the Canaanite’s example of having a Harem but apparently their moral standards as well

1)   V. 31 told he had a Concubine in Shechem – 2nd class wife –{ Mistress


C)Now the Lord specifically warned against this type of Behavior as well

Deut 17:16-17 16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you,'You shall not return that way again.' 17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.


The final evidence of Gideon’s Backsliding & kingly lifestyle is seen in the name he gives his son by the concubine: Abimelech = My father is king

A)Just a subtle indication of how Gideon’s heart had Changed –


B) Assumption – Started to believe the press clippings – his popularity was great – the perks were many – 

1) Easy to start thinking – Hey I deserve this break – I deserve this perk


C) That is an easy way to end up in a place of  Sin – Start thinking you for one reason or another DESERVE TO COMPROMISE


The ending of Gideon’s story is a sad one, but it has some important lessons that we must not overlook – Note 4  things

A)#1 We cannot compromise our obedience to the word of God – The path of partial obedience is always the pathway of spiritual defeat !


B) We cannot alter God’s word & we cannot Choose to obey what we deem appropriate


C)#2 Compromise always leads to greater compromise – There is always a Progression of sin

1)   Gideon’s sin Started with the Ehod & progressed into – his pride acting like a King – taking wives – getting snared in Idolatry


C) Eph 4:22 – Our old man grows more Corrupt The flesh doesn’t get better

#3The Profession of Christ as Lord must be followed by consistent Practice of that Lordship!!

A)Gideon professed that God was King – but He didn’t act like God was King !!!


B) Our lifestyle needs to match our Profession !!!


C) #4 The only safe place to keep our eyes is on the Lord

1)   Even Gideon’s backslide – Testimony that even the most spiritual Christians can fall – Not focus on Men  - but the Lord


Heb 12:1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


CH.9 Rd v. 1-2

A)Notice  v. 2 Abimelech’s Question – Which is better for You?


B)This is always a dangerous question & approach – Theme of the book the People did what was right in their own eyes – “Better for them”

1)   That right there is the Danger of Relativism – Do what the people deem as being best !!!


C) Not what does God think or what does God’s word say – but what is best FOR YOU – what do you want – 70 Sons of Gideon King or Me

1)   One of You – Who is going to best meet your needs


D) So what he is doing here – is appealing to the self seeking flesh of man – what is best for you – rather than what is right before God

1) It is very, very important that we recognize immediately { a red flag should go off when my flesh is being appealed to: Happens Politics / Church

In fact Whole Church movements have been started on that Premise – Give the people a Church that they want!!!  Willow Creek

A)Relative: Base it around people’s FELT NEEDS – Need to feel happy – Positive messages –Heavy Doses of Self Esteem


B)We don’t want to feel bad – { Not going to talk about sin – not going to talk about uncomfortable

1)   Practical – Lots of life lessons Parenting / Marriage – Success

Not going to talk about the Cross – Crucified Life


C)We don’t want it to be Boring Fun –dramas - Avoid heavy Doctrinal issues – that stuff is boring – No Meat – Serve Ice cream

1) Certain most of our teaching around those passages – that are real Practical this is how you should live stuff


D)Problem – People don’t learn the Word – only teach from it – not thru it and they don’t know what they believe – No Doctrine

1) But unfortunately that is a Popular method of doing Church today



So Abimelech says to the men of Shechem – think about what is best for You !! Not what is God’s will / plan / Not what does his word say?

A)What do you think is best – Problem !!!


B) Now the Principle that we see in this Chapter is that if we reject our true King – JESUS – we will be ruled by a Usurper

1)   That proves to be the case here in Judges ch.9 -   


C) Abimelech is Driven by Bitter envy & Selfish Ambition – The Bible warns us to watch for those things

1)   That is not the right motive to have in our hearts –


RD v. 3-6


Now in this one act the men of Shechem & Abimelech revealed themselves for what they were

A)Shechem was an immoral, pagan society prepared to tolerate the most atrocious of acts – while Abimelech was an utterly ruthless man who was willing to stoop to any level to GAIN HIS DESIRED END!!


                              v. 7 –15


B) Now this is the first recorded parable in the Bible – used to teach the people a lesson

1)   it is a Parable of trees that for some reason decided they needed to elect a King


C) Approached first the Olive Tree – valuable tree good for producing oil

BE OUR KING – Olive tree said No !!

1)   Then they approached the Fig tree – Good for Fruit – the fig tree’s response was similar – why should I leave my sweetness & fruit for such a silly position –


D) Next the Vine – Grapes & Wine – Juice – same response


These three were really good.... fruitful... productive and useful but they had NO DESIRE to reign over other trees

A)So they went to the bramble bush - The bramble  was a THORN bush

     It was the most useless growth in Israel


B)It produced NO fruit.... NO shade.... The wood was USELESS as wood   (it split to easily)

1)   It was ONLY good to be BURNED


C) Jotham’s point was obvious – when they crowned Abimelech they were choosing an absolutely worthless man

1)   Wasn’t going to provide the Protection & blessing they wanted – The bramble bush can’t provide shade for the Cedars –


The Parable is a good picture of what the Flesh wants to do in our lives It wants to take control –

A)The flesh doesn’t produce fruit – but ugly destructive works of the flesh { Gal 5:19-21


B) But there is a radical contrast when a life is controlled by the spirit – Fruit is the result –


C) The Principal of control is clear – my life will show the results of who controls it !!!

1)   The flesh produces destructive bramble works – the HS produces w/ in me the Fruit of Christ-like Character


The Christian life is like an Airplane –

A)Plane has a Body – Engine – Jets – Pilot – When all 3 elements are working the Plane is a thing of Beauty – cruising at 35,000 feet


B) Testimony of the brilliance of Human ingenuity

1) But if the engine cuts out the Plane is going to Crash -


C) Well so to with the Christian – Man has a Body – The body of man is the Fuselage / the pilot is the My Spirit

1)   The engine is the Holy Spirit –


D) Now when I allow the HS to fuel my Human spirit there is growth and Progress – there is cruising – God is glorified

1)   But if I eliminate the HS – if I cut off the fuel supply - my spiritual motor stops running & suddenly I become dominated by my body & it’s desires not by my fellowship with God


E) When that happens I am headed for a Crash – See when My body is not under the Control of the HS it can become an instrument thru which my evil flesh works


F) Abimelech is such a picture of the flesh { RD v. 16-54

Crazy – listen when you have been an Abimelech & you have time for a dying Prayer don’t worry about that  – REPENT  – cry out for mercy

A)Abimelech is still worried about his Reputation – How he is going to be remembered – What matter you are dead !!!


B) If our Concern is how we are going to be remembered – trouble





1 Peter 5:5

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

"God resists the proud,  But gives grace to the humble."  


James 4:10

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.




          Ga 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a                    man sows, that shall he also reap.


Abimilech sowed violence and placed the heads of 70 brothers on a stone and had them chopped off

A)Now his head is crushed with a stone


B)He hired WORTHLESS men to kill his brother

1) He is killed by what a woman.. in that culture though to be                       of no value in comparison to men


C)He placed a crown upon his head- He ended up having his head crushed

     1) May God help us to NEVER follow in his lifestyle - Either in AMBITION or in SOWING bad seed

                                      For Bad seed WILL bring forth bad fruit