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Family Feud       Judges 9:1-9, 14-15, 56-57
(HCSB.)      July 29, 2012


       Did you know there were parables used in the Old Testament. Trees are used in this chapter in a parabolic

manner to represent a self appointed king named Abimelech. He wanted to be likened to an Olive tree but turned out to be a bramble.


1.   In Family Feuds Beware of . . Manipulative Appeals. 9:1-6   

       A.   Manipulative Appeals by Relatives with . . Deception On Their Mind.

       1:1 Abimelech son of Jerubbaal went to his mother's brothers at Shechem and spoke to them and to all his

       maternal grandfather's clan, saying,

       2 "Please speak in the presence of all the lords of Shechem, 'Is it better for you that 70 men, all the sons of

       Jerubbaal, rule over you or that one man rule over you?' Remember that I am your own flesh and blood."

       3 His mother's relatives spoke all these words about him in the presence of all the lords of Shechem, and

       they were favorable to Abimelech, for they said, "He is our brother."

       4 So they gave him 70 pieces of silver from the temple of Baal-berith. Abimelech hired worthless and

       reckless men with this money, and they followed him.


       B.   Manipulative Appeals by Relatives with . . Death On Their Mind.

       5He went to his father's house in Ophrah and killed his 70 brothers, the sons of Jerubbaal, on top of a large

       stone. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerubbaal, survived, because he hid himself.

       6Then all the lords of Shechem and of Beth-millo gathered together and proceeded to make Abimelech king

       at the oak of the pillar in Shechem.

       I do not like feuds especially the family kind. Between my mother and my two sisters we never had a feud.

Why did Abimelech have a family feud? Because he started it. He possessed a self seeking attitude and deception seemed to brew in his character. I know most of us can not appreciate a deceptive person but too many exist and sadly some even make their way into the church and it’s ministry. Can you imagine the mind set of a person like Abimelech who would plan and pay to have 70 brothers killed? It sounds like some of the acts of leaders in the near or middle East today. The Christian faith, when lived correctly, definitely makes a difference. Abimelech was not a Christian and did not receive correct teaching.


2.   In Family Feuds Learn from A Parable about Selfish . . Motivation. 9:7-9 

       A.    Parable Told by A Relative with . . Awareness of Selfish Motivation. 9:7-8

7 When they told Jotham, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim, raised his voice, and called to them: Listen to me, lords of Shechem, and may God listen to you:

       8 The trees set out to anoint a king over themselves. They said to the olive tree, "Reign over us."


       B.   A Parable Told by A Relative with . . Answers About Selfish Motivation. 9:9

9 But the olive tree said to them, "Should I stop giving my oil that honors both God and man, and rule over the trees?"

      Jotham had escape with his life and risk it to climb Mount Gerizim to call out to all he could make hear his message. He wanted everyone to have an awareness of the kind of man Abimelech would be if he were anointed king. He told a parable of some trees trying to get an olive tree to be their king and reign over them. Jotham was pleading with the people to hear him and reject his brother Abimelech. In Jotham’s parable he made the olive tree refuse to leave a valuable service to be king over the trees.


3.   In Family Feuds Beware of . . Movements Toward False Security. 9:14-15

       A.   Beware of False Security Movements by . . Unqualified People. 9:14

       14 Finally, all the trees said to the bramble, "Come and reign over us."


       B.   Beware of False Security Movements by . . Unappreciative People. 9:15

       15 The bramble said to the trees, "If you really are anointing me as king over you, come and find refuge in

       my shade. But if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon."


      As the Parable continues it has all the trees asking the bramble to come and reign over them as there king. Most everyone knows a bramble bush is worth very little and usually offers no direction but follows the wind wherever it blows and may just cause fires. The bramble offers to let the people who anoint him king to come and rest under his shade but if not then come and be destroyed by fire. Jotham likened Abimelech to a bramble king who would be worth nothing and that his false security would be as useless as a bramble


4.   In Family Feuds Beware of the Promised . . Merits of Selfish Ambition. 9:56-57

       A.   Beware of Promised Merits from Selfish Ambition . . Turning Against You. 9:56

       56 In this way, the evil that Abimelech had done against his father, by killing his 70 brothers, God turned

       back on him.


       B.   Beware of Promised Merits from Selfish Ambition . . Torturing Others. 9:57

       57And God also returned all the evil of the men of Shechem on their heads. So the curse of Jotham son of

       Jerubbaal came on them.

       Abimelech reaped what he sowed and it also affected all the men who served with him. The so-called merits of Abimelech’s selfish ambition turned against him. Do you remember seeing Saddam Hussein hiding in a sewer? These men who tortured others received similar treatment at the end of their lives. This certainly ought to teach us to work against being part of a Family Feud. Amen? Amen!