A Legacy Lost
(Judges 8:4-35; 9:1-57)
Death of Abimelech
By Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld
Gideon proved to be faithful to God. The Lord blessed him with abundance and offspring. In fact, Gideon had 70 sons (see Judges 8:29-32).
One of Gideon’s sons, born to a concubine, was Abimelech. At his father’s death, Abimelech set himself up to be king, although his faithful father had denied himself the selfsame honor (see Judges 8:22-23).
Abimelech caused division and strife among the Israelites. He murdered all of his own brothers, by ordering them killed.
He led the people into battle at Shechem, destroying the city. In the end, the Israelites lost many men, and Abimelech himself was killed in a most dishonorable manner. At Thebez, a woman atop a tower dropped a millstone on his head. Pridefully refusing to die at the hands of a female, Abimelech ordered his shield bearer to run him through with a sword, and he perished.
Abimelech, the son of a true man of faith, proved faithless.
Can faithless kids come from faithful parents?
How tempted we may be to blame parents when children rebel. When youngsters, or even young adults, stray from the path we suppose they ought to walk, we love to point fingers of judgment at their mothers and fathers.
Of course, we ought not to minimize the importance of a parent’s influence upon his or her offspring.
On the other hand, does not every individual possess a God-given free will? Can we truly place the responsibility for a person’s behavior and choices upon his or her parents?
God Himself is the perfect parent. How do we, as His children, behave? Will we persist in blaming the Lord for our own shortcomings, foolish decisions and outright rebellion?
What’s a parent to do?
Faithful parents surely strive to set solid examples. We may do all we can to set consistent boundaries for our sons and daughters and to provide appropriate consequences for disobedience.
Beyond that, what assurance do parents have that their children will choose to follow the Lord’s leading?
Certainly, the most important thing a parent can do is to intercede fervently and faithfully for his or her children, specifically and personally. Ought we not to pray that God will draw our children’s hearts to Him? Can we not beseech the Lord to do whatever it takes in our sons’ and daughters’ lives to create genuine hunger for Him?
Such prayers are bold, and the answers may test our own faith. Often, difficult circumstances and consequences may prove the only means of drawing rebellious hearts to the Lord. Can we recall what it took in our own lives, for us to recognize our real need for God?
Can we think of any more important reason to pray for our children?
Will you pray with me?
We rejoice to be called Your children.
Our greatest desire
Is to see our own children
Come to recognize
Their need for You.
Hold their lives
And their hearts,
And draw them to Yourself,
For You love them
And care for them
Even more than we could ever do.
We trust You
For the outcome.
And those of our children
Are in Your strong and loving hands.