+ DAILY PRAYER +
The Downfall of Shechem and Abimelech22 Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. 23 And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the lords of Shechem, and the lords of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, 24 so that the violence done to the seventy brothers of Abimelech would be avenged and their blood be placed on Abimelech their brother…
This Daily Devotion covers the first five books of the Bible, Genesis through Deuteronomy also called the Books of Moses or the Pentateuch, in a period of one year in a Monday through Friday format, the Psalms and order of devotion follow those presented in The Treasury of Daily Prayer from Concordia Publishing House.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan,
and he hears my voice.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;
He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
1 A Psalm of David,
when he fled from Absalom his son.
O LORD, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
3 But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the LORD,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the LORD;
your blessing be on your people! Selah
Reading for Monday October 2nd Judges 9:22-57
The Downfall of Shechem and Abimelech
22 Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. 23 And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the lords of Shechem, and the lords of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, 24 so that the violence done to the seventy brothers of Abimelech would be avenged and their blood be placed on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the lords of Shechem, ?who helped? to kill his brothers. 25 And the lords of Shechem set for him ambushes on the top of the mountains, and they robbed all who passed by them along the road; and it was reported to Abimelech.
26 And Gaal son of Ebel and his relatives came, and they crossed over into Shechem, and the lords of Shechem ?gave him confidence?. 27 They went out into the field and harvested their vineyards and trod them, and they ?held a festival?. And they went into the temple of their god, and they ate and drank and cursed Abimelech. 28 Then Gaal son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelech, and who are we of Shechem that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerub-Baal, and is not Zebul his chief officer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem. Why should we serve him? 29 If only this people ?were in my command?! Then I would remove Abimelech, and I would have said, ‘Increase your army and come out!’ ”
30 When Zebul the commander of the city heard the words of Gaal son of Ebed, ?he became angry?, 31 and he sent messengers to Abimelech in Tormah, saying, “Look, Gaal son of Ebed and his relatives are coming to Shechem, and they are stirring up the city against you. 32 So then, get up by night, you and the army that is with you, and lie in ambush in the field. 33 And in the morning at sunrise, get up and rush the city; and look, when he and the troops who are with him come out to you, ?you must act according to whatever opportunity offers itself?.
34 So Abimelech and all the army that was with him got up by night, and they lay in ambush against Shechem in four divisions. 35 Gaal son of Ebed went out and stood at the entrance of the city gate, and Abimelech and the army that was with him got up from the ambush. 36 When Gaal saw the army, he said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the top of the mountains!” And Zebul said to him, “?The shadows of the mountains look like people to you?.” 37 ?And Gaal spoke again? and said, “Look, people are coming down from Tabbur-erez, and one division is coming from the direction of Elon-meonenim.” 38 And Zebul said to him, “Where then ?is your boast?, you who said, ‘Who is Abimelech that we should serve him?’ Is this not the army that you rejected? Please, go out now and fight against them.” 39 So Gaal went out before the lords of Shechem and fought against Abimelech. 40 And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him; many fell slain up to the entrance of the gate. 41 So Abimelech resided at Arumah, and Zebul drove out Gaal and his relatives from living in Shechem.
42 On the next day the people went out to the field; and it was reported to Abimelech, 43 so he took the army and divided them into three divisions, and he laid an ambush in the field. And he saw the people were coming out from the city, and he arose against them and killed them. 44 Then Abimelech and the divisions that were with him dashed out and stood at the entrance of the city gate, and the two divisions dashed out against all who were in the field, and they killed them. 45 Abimelech fought against the city all that day, and he captured the city and killed the people that were in it; then he broke down the city and sowed it with salt.
46 When all the lords of the tower of Shechem heard, they went to the vault of the temple of El-Berith. 47 It was told to Abimelech that all the lords of the tower of Shechem had gathered. 48 So Abimelech went up Mount Zalmon, he and all his army that were with him, and Abimelech took the ax in his hand and cut down a bundle of brushwood, and he lifted it and put it on his shoulder. And he said to the army that was with him, “What you have seen me do, quickly do also.” 49 So the whole army cut down each one branch for himself and followed Abimelech, and they put them against the vault and set the vault ablaze with fire on those inside, so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died, about a thousand men and women.
50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and he encamped against Thebez and captured it. 51 But there was a strong tower in the middle of the city, and all the men, women, and lords of the city fled there and shut themselves in; and they went up to the roof of the tower. 52 Abimelech came up to the tower and fought against it, and he came near the entrance of the tower to burn it with fire. 53 But a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head and cracked open his skull. 54 He called quickly to the young man carrying his weapons, and he said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that they will not say of me, ‘A woman killed him.’ ” So the young man stabbed him, and he died. 55 When the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, each one went to his home. 56 So God repaid the wickedness that Abimelech committed against his father by killing his seventy brothers. 57 And God also repaid all the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads, and the curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal fell on them.
Merciful God, in Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, You give good gifts to Your children, the gifts of righteousness, life, and salvation. Teach us to give the gift of Jesus and mercy to our neighbors so that we may do unto others as we wish them to do unto us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Heavenly Father, send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts to direct and rule us according to Your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.