7/29/12: The last words of the loving, beloved disciple John (the Apostle), who had ‘seen it all’ in churches’ apostasies (Rev. 2-3), were: “ Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21)
Cartography is from http://bibleandtech.blogspot.com/2008/12/using-digital-mapping-tools-mount-ebal.html
Ancient ‘Billboards’Pictured:A potsherd fromThebe dating back tothe 14th centuryBCE shows a nudefertility goddess ofCanaan.Perhaps it is Astarteriding a horse.Themes?How about:•Success•Sensuality (illicit)•Freedom•Power “Join now!”
Judges 3 - OTHNIEL, EHUD,SHAMGAR ● Othniel, of Debir, south of Hebron, saved Israel from the Mesopotamians, who invaded from the northeast. ● Ehud saved Israel from Moabites, Ammonites, and Amalekites. The story of how he used his left-God was handedness to kill Eglon, king of Moab,“trying” as is told in graphic detail.Supreme Judge, todeliver ● The Moabites were descendants of Hispeople… They occupied the tableland east of Lot.All that He requiredwas their _____ Sea. Their god, Chemosh, was the Dead? worshiped by human sacrifice. They had (Cooperation)! repeated wars with Israel. ● The Ammonites were descendants of Lot. Their territory was next to Moab, beginning about 30 miles E. of the Jordan. Their god Molech was worshiped by the burning of little children. Moab and Ammon ancestors were produced from an incestuous relationship (Gen.19:30–38).
Events in Gideon’s life (Judg. 6 – 8:32)1. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon at Ophrah as he was beating out wheat in the winepress (6: 11-18).2. Gideon’s offering consumed by fire (6: 19–24).3. Gideon’s destroyed the altar of Baal by night (6: 25-27).4. Gideon “put out the fleece” twice for a “sign” (6: 36-40).5. Gideon reduced his army from 32,000 to 10,000 to 300 (7: 2- 8); he routed the Midianites with trumpets, pitchers, and torches (7: 16-22).6. Oreb and Zeeb killed by the Ephraim-ites (7: 24 - 8:3).7. Gideon took revenge on the men of Succoth and Penuel, for not giving his army bread (8: 5-9, 14-17).8. Gideon killed Midianite kings Zebah & Zalmunna, in rightful revenge for their murdering his brothers at Tabor (8: 18-21).9. Gideon made a gold ephod for himself, which led the people back toward idolatry (8: 24-27).Nelsons complete book of Bible maps & charts: Old and New Testaments (Rev. & updated ed.)
Completing battles vs. Midian, & Gideon’s legacy (Jdg. 8)• Ephraim’s anger (jealousy) for NOT being in the fight is answered by Gideon. He had invited them.• Pursuing some of the rulers of Midian, Gideon is denied aid traitorously by Succoth and Penuel. He warns, then later repays their desertions with rightful vengeance• Gideon ruled in peace after this for 40 years• He was offered kingship, but declined it• Yet, in his remaining life, he – ..had 70 sons from many wives, “plus” a foreign concubine from more distant Shechem. Their son was Abimelech. – ..created for his use an ephod of gold spoils, which sat in his house, but all Israel paid homage to it -- so it became a snare – He sought security in his many sons, wealth and influence – even though not “King” How can similar ‘heart leanings’ hurt a family or church (yours)?
Beware Manipulative Appeals (Judg. 9: 1-6)1 Now Abimelech son of Jerubbaal (Gideon) went to Shechem to his mother’skinsmen and said to them and to the whole clan of his mother’s family, 2 “Say, Ipray you, in the hearing of all the men of Shechem, Which is better for you:that all seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal reign over you, or that one man ruleover you? Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.” 3 And hismother’s kinsmen spoke all these words concerning him in the hearing of allthe men of Shechem, and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for theysaid, “He is our brother.” 4 And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out ofthe house of Baal-berith, with which Abimelech hired worthless and foolhardymen who followed him. 5 And he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and slewhis brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham,the youngest son of Jerubbaal, was left, for he hid himself. 6 And all the men ofShechem gathered together and all of Beth-millo, and they went and madeAbimelech king by the oak (terebinth) of the pillar at Shechem.•Abimelech was linked most to his mother’s kin.•‘..one stone’ meant public slaughtering: Murder X 70! Note 70 ‘coins’•How did he use his mom’s family’s “softer’ ambitions,to become King?•Satan fights God as Destroyer, thief, murderer, liar (Jn.8:44,10:10)How do we know if we are being seduced thru our “lofty” ambitions?
Choose Self-Giving Service (Judg. 9: 7-9) 7 When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood at the top of MountGerizim and shouted to them, “Hear me, men of Shechem, that Godmay hear you. 8 One time the trees went forth to anoint a king overthem, and they said to the olive tree, Reign over us. 9 But the olive treesaid to them, Should I leave my fatness, by which God and man arehonored, and go to wave over the trees?”“Interesting” that God preserved a remnant (Jotham), for His work!No plot can stand against God’s will & judgment (Is. 54:17; Matt. 16:18)We must pray that WE are standing in God’s will, with Him! (Matt. 6:13)Mt. Gerizim was a ‘sacred’ spot, to focus the attention of Shechem’itesJotham fought with the effective Weapon he had: God’s Words(thoughts)!His parable had an olive tree ‘fat’ with oil; continues w/ fig tree & grapesWhat’s more important, bearing fruit of character for God’s work, or‘success’?Can selfish ambition, ignoring God, lead to spiritual death? (Matt.7:13)Jesus warned against serving Mammon, our world’s ‘god’ of security!!...
What “success doors” should we trust in? Luke 16:12–17 (AMP) 12 And if you have not proved faithful in that whichbelongs to another, who will give you that which is your own [that is, thetrue riches]? 13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hatethe one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to theone and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches,or anything in which you trust and on which you rely).14 Now the Pharisees, who were covetous and lovers of money, heard allthese things [taken together], and they began to sneer at and ridiculeand scoff at Him. 15 But He said to them, You are the ones who declareyourselves just and upright before men, but God knows your hearts.For what is exalted and highly thought of among men is detestableand abhorrent (an abomination) in the sight of God. 16 Until Johncame, there were the Law & the Prophets; since then the good news ofthe kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone strivesviolently to go in [would force his own way rather than God’s way intoit]. 17 Yet it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dotof the Law to fail and become void.Luke 13:24 24 Strive to enter by the narrow door [force yourselvesthrough it], for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.
Beware Offers of False Security (Judg. 9: 14-15)10 Then the trees said to the fig tree, You come and reign over us. 11 Butthe fig tree said to them, Should I leave my sweetness and my good fruitand go to wave over the trees? 12 Then the trees said to the vine(grapevine), You come and reign over us. 13 And the vine (grapevine)replied, Should I leave my new wine, which rejoices God and man, andgo to wave over the trees?14 Then all the trees said to the bramble, You come and reign over us. 15And the bramble said to the trees, If in good faith you are anointing meking over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let firecome out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.•Jotham next reminded the Shechem-ites how his father Gideon hadserved them honorably – delivered them from their enemies, and judgedwell, with peace.•He left them the decision to fully follow Abimelech, or to reject this‘bramble’ (thorn or briar) Abimelech•He then (understandably) fled in fear from his “brother” Abimelech
The consequences of Selfish Ambition (Judg. 9: 56-57)Judges 9:23 23 And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and themen of Shechem, and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously withAbimelech,:24-54 Another evil, ambitious man Gaal rose up and plotted againstAbimelech, to overthrow him. In the battles that followed, Abimelechkilled many more people of Shechem – and then he himself was killed.Judges 9:55–57 (AMP) : 55 And when the men of Israel saw thatAbimelech was dead, they departed each man to his home. 56 Thus Godrepaid the wickedness of Abimelech which he had done to his father[Gideon] by slaying his seventy brothers; 57 And all the wickedness ofthe men of Shechem God repaid upon their heads and caused to comeupon them the curse of Jotham son of Jerubbaal.God served justice, restored peace, and His purposes were continued.“Case dismissed”: this trial was Over!
Case Summary Abimelech (of Manasseh) -- Son of Gideon by a concubine (Judg. 8:33–9:57, also 2 Sam. 11:21) -- Judge GOD Presiding. All Rise!1.Abimelech slew all his half brothers (70) except Jotham, theyoungest (9:5).2.Abimelech defeated Gaal, who conspired against him (9:26-41).3.Abimelech captured Shechem and razed the city (9:42–49).4.At Thebez a woman threw a millstone which hit Abimelech onthe head; Abimelech then had his armor-bearer kill him with asword (9:50-54).Oppression: the damages this time were a very costly Civil War,not foreign enemiesNelsons complete book of Bible maps & charts: Old and New Testaments (Rev. and updated ed.)
For us: the ‘fruits’ of Selfish Ambition (Jam. 3:16-18)16 For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry & selfishambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion)and all sorts of evil & vile practices.17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it ispeace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield toreason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted andstraightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering,and insincerity).18 And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God’s will in thoughtand deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work forand make peace.•Blessed are the peacemakers… sons of God (born again, New Life)•Decide to NOT be swayed by the god of ambition & false security,Mammon•Don’t seek riches (1 Tim. 6:10, 2 Tim. 3:1-7)•Christ has it ALL (Col. 2:3)•We are to be ‘ONLY’ servants of the King! (Luke 22:25-27)•
Two Ways! See Deut. 29-30 E | N —|— S | Mt. Gerizim Mt. Ebal W Mt. Ebal Mt. Gerizim “And these [tribes] The Amphitheather Shechem “These [tribes] shallshall stand on Mount stand on MountEbal to pronounce Gerizim to bless thethe curse [for people, when youdisobedience]: have passed overReuben, Gad, Asher, the Jordan: Simeon,Zebulun, Dan, and Levi, Judah,Naphtali.” – Deut. Issachar, Joseph’s27:13 [sons], and Benjamin.” – Deut. 27:12