All I kept thinking as I read this chapter was how ruthless and ugly we humans can be. This is a horrible account from beginning to end. Abimelek is a scoundrel of the highest order. The people of Shechem have no honor and no shame. Where is any semblance of living by God’s Word? Where are priests or heads of clans who can instruct people in the way of God?
Israel has devolved into a godless people no better than any of the Canaanite peoples…
How easy it is to leave the Lord’s path and become lost in the ‘wilderness of the world.’
Judges is an example for us of what NOT to do and of potential consequences if we do stray. Unfortunately history is littered with stories of God’s people straying. Fortunately God doesn’t abandon us… sending voices to call us home back to the safe harbor of true and living faith in Him.
Time spent in God’s Word. Time spent in self-examination with God’s Word as the standard. Time spent in confession. Time spent in the presence of the Lord and with others who are seeking to stay close to the Lord as well. Time spent living in ways we know honors the Lord… these are our prime defenses against the pull of the human heart to anarchy and sins of self.
So I come today, Lord, seeking You, seeking the correction and strength You can give to live rightly in Your eyes. And so I admit that unbridled sin in me could be as ugly as Abimelek. I cry out to You to forgive me and call me home. Correct me so that I do not stray. I am Yours. I am Yours. Through Jesus, I pray. Amen.