The Curse of Jotham

“At once he called to the lad who carried his equipment and said to him, ‘Un-sheath your sword and make an end of me lest it be said of me that I was slain by a woman.’ The young man ran him through and he died. When the men of Israel saw that Abimelek was dead, each man went to his own place. And God returned the evil of Abimelek who acted against his father in the slaughter of his seventy brothers. Also, God returned all the evil of the men of Shekem on their heads. God brought about the curse of Jotham the son of Jeruba’al.”

(Judges 9:54-57)

And so, the curse of Jotham has come to its full measure (at least on earth…for these wicked men, eternal judgment will follow. And, when it is clear that Abimelek is dead, the soldiers who were supporting him departed and each went back to their own homes. Thus, their loyalty was likely coerced on the part of Abimelek and was not one of ideology. Such is the end of all those who oppose God’s will.

Abimelek’s arrogance and unrepentant nature can clearly be seen in his final request to the young man serving as his armor bearer. He didn’t want history to record that he died at the hands of a woman. So much for dying gloriously in battle. Yet, what history records is not only his ignominious death, but also his arrogance in defeat. Such is the way with the wicked.

And so we close out the cycle of Abimelek, which is really little more than an extension of the cycle of Gideon. A time of rest will follow with Tola and Jair, but not for long. The heart of man is wicked and deceitful, how easily swayed we are into the grips of the things of death. And, let us not fool ourselves into thinking that such are things that only happen in the ancient times; no, indeed, they happen all around us today. How the generation of Abimelek will look down upon our generation today and condemn us for ignorance in the time of judgment.

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