What does it say? After the death of Jerubbaal (Gideon), Abimelech persuaded the people of Shechem to anoint him as king. He then killed his 70 brothers; only Jotham survived.
What does it mean? Greed, pride and a craving for control led Abimelech to manipulate the idol-worshiping men of Shechem to anoint him king. Abimelech’s lust for power jaded his thinking to the point that the lives of his own family meant nothing to him. Jotham, the only brother to escape, spoke to Shechem through a parable that rebuked the decision the leaders had made. If they had acted with integrity in appointing Abimelech and with fairness toward his brothers, then they would rejoice. However, if their actions were not based on God’s will, Abimelech’s reign would be a curse that would bring destruction on them all.
How should I respond? It’s easy to be persuaded to turn from God’s will when we’re not connecting with Him daily. Without God’s wisdom, discernment and judgment can become clouded with the world’s thinking. In what area of your life are you initiating action without first going to the Lord? No detail is too small to bring to God for His guidance. Scripture and prayer are the keys that open the door to wisdom in all our actions. Determine to worship God alone. Then, ask Him to help you recognize influences that pull you off course. Examine today’s decisions in light of this passage. Will your choices bring rejoicing or regret?