The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 22 JUNE 2023 – TOPIC: SHUN UNGODLY AMBITIONS AND EVIL ASSOCIATIONS - Faithwheel.com

The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 22 JUNE  2023 – TOPIC: SHUN UNGODLY AMBITIONS AND EVIL ASSOCIATIONS

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TOPIC: SHUN UNGODLY AMBITIONS AND EVIL ASSOCIATIONS

READ: JUDGES 9:22-57 (NKJV)

9:22. After Abimelech had reigned over Israel three years,

9:23. God sent a spirit of ill will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech,

9:24. that the crime [done] to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might be settled and their blood be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who aided him in the killing of his brothers.

9:25. And the men of Shechem set men in ambush against him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who passed by them along that way; and it was told Abimelech.

9:26. Now Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brothers and went over to Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him.

9:27. So they went out into the fields, and gathered [grapes] from their vineyards and trod [them,] and made merry. And they went into the house of their god, and ate and drank, and cursed Abimelech.

9:28. Then Gaal the son of Ebed said, “Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we should serve him? [Is he] not the son of Jerubbaal, and [is not] Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem; but why should we serve him?

9:29. “If only this people were under my authority! Then I would remove Abimelech.” So he said to Abimelech, “Increase your army and come out!”

9:30. When Zebul, the ruler of the city, heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was aroused.

9:31. And he sent messengers to Abimelech secretly, saying, “Take note! Gaal the son of Ebed and his brothers have come to Shechem; and here they are, fortifying the city against you.

9:32. “Now therefore, get up by night, you and the people who [are] with you, and lie in wait in the field.

9:33. “And it shall be, as soon as the sun is up in the morning, [that] you shall rise early and rush upon the city; and [when] he and the people who are with him come out against you, you may then do to them as you find opportunity.”

9:34. So Abimelech and all the people who [were] with him rose by night, and lay in wait against Shechem in four companies.

9:35. When Gaal the son of Ebed went out and stood in the entrance to the city gate, Abimelech and the people who [were] with him rose from lying in wait.

9:36. And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains!” But Zebul said to him, “You see the shadows of the mountains as [if they were] men.”

9:37. So Gaal spoke again and said, “See, people are coming down from the center of the land, and another company is coming from the Diviners’ Terebinth Tree.”

9:38. Then Zebul said to him, “Where indeed [is] your mouth now, with which you said, ‘Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him?’ [Are] not these the people whom you despised? Go out, if you will, and fight with them now.”

9:39. So Gaal went out, leading the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.

9:40. And Abimelech chased him, and he fled from him; and many fell wounded, to the [very] entrance of the gate.

9:41. Then Abimelech dwelt at Arumah, and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brothers, so that they would not dwell in Shechem.

9:42. And it came about on the next day that the people went out into the field, and they told Abimelech.

9:43. So he took his people, divided them into three companies, and lay in wait in the field. And he looked, and there were the people, coming out of the city; and he rose against them and attacked them.

9:44. Then Abimelech and the company that [was] with him rushed forward and stood at the entrance of the gate of the city; and the [other] two companies rushed upon all who [were] in the fields and killed them.

9:45. So Abimelech fought against the city all that day; he took the city and killed the people who [were] in it; and he demolished the city and sowed it with salt.

9:46. Now when all the men of the tower of Shechem had heard [that,] they entered the stronghold of the temple of the god Berith.

47 And it was told Abimelech that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.

48 Then Abimelech went up to Mount lZalmon, he and all the people who were with him. And Abimelech took an ax in his hand and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it and laid it on his shoulder; then he said to the people who were with him, “What you have seen me do, make haste and do as I have done.”

49 So each of the people likewise cut down his own bough and followed Abimelech, put them against the 4 stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire above them, so that all the people of the tower of Shechem died, about a thousand men and women.

50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and he 5encamped against Thebez and took it.

51 But there was a strong tower in the city, and all the men and women—all the people of the city—fled there and shut themselves in; then they went up to the top of the tower.

52 So Abimelech came as far as the tower and fought against it; and he drew near the door of the tower to burn it with fire.

53 But a certain woman mdropped an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull.

54 Then nhe called quickly to the young man, his armorbearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, lest men say of me, ‘A woman killed him.’ ” So his young man thrust him through, and he died.

55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed, every man to his 6place.

56 oThus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father by killing his seventy brothers.

57 And all the evil of the men of Shechem God returned on their own heads, and on them came pthe curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.

THE MESSAGE:

Our bible reading today shows how God repaid Abimelech and the people of Shechem for their wickedness (verses 56-57). Abimelech was the son of Gideon through his Shechemite concubine (verses 1-3). He conspired with his mother’s kindred in Shechem to kill his 70 brothers and destroy his father’s legacy in order to become king. Only Jotham escaped (verses 4–5) and according to his words (verses 19-20), God set Abimelech and his conspirators against each other (verse 23) until they were both destroyed (verses 56-57).

Beloved, God repays people according to their works, either for good or for bad (Romans 2:6; Revelation 22:12). God cannot be mocked, whatever a man sows is what he will reap (Galatians 6:7). Do not destroy others because, you want to be the only King in your space. Proverbs 1:8-19 warns against evil association and ungodly ambitions. Are you planning evil against anyone because of your ambitions? Repent now, otherwise God’s judgement is sure to come your way. Always remember the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).

PRAYER: Father, purge me of every evil thought and ambition that does not glorify You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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