Old Testament: Judges 9:22-10:18
Judges 9: 22 – 57 He Had Some Gall
Abimelech ruled over Israel for three years before there was trouble. A lot of trouble. God created tension between Abimelech and the men in town. The men in town turned on him.
There was a guy that had a lot of nerve. His name was Gaal. Maybe I should say he had a lot of gall. Anyway, he thought he would be just as good a ruler as Abe. So he told Abe to get some soldiers and “bring it on.”
Another guy named Zebul warned Abimelech that Gaal was coming to Shechem. Abe was up for the challenge and went down to Shechem and waited. Gaal saw the forces of Abimelech coming and told Zebul. But Zebul told him he was seeing things. Abe came down out and routed the Shechemites. They retreated to the town, but Zebul wouldn’t let them back in.
Abe came down and attacked the men and destroyed the city. They leveled it and then put salt on the ground as a symbol that nothing would ever grow there. The leaders of the city fled and hid inside the tower there. When Abe heard about it, he had all his men carry down kindling wood and set the tower on fire, killing about a thousand men and women.
Abe was going to do the same thing to the town of Thebez but a woman threw a millstone on his head and crushed it. He didn’t want to be known as the guy who got offed by a woman so he asked his armor-bearer to run him through. I still think of him as the guy that got offed by a woman, though.
The curse of Jotham, Gideon’s son, had come upon Abimelech and the Shechemites were recompensed (“got theirs”).
Judges 1o: 1-2 The Son Of Son Of Dodo (Tola)
After Abimelech died, the grandson of Dodo took over. I’m not kidding. He was the son of someone named Dodo. Who names their kid, Dodo? Dodo could have called his kid Dodo II but mercifully he named him Puah. And it was Puah’s son, Tola, who became the next judge. He was the fifth judge by my reckoning (sixth if you count Shamgar and seventh if you count Abimelech). That’s all I can tell you about Tola. He judged twenty-three years but he didn’t do anything! Ever known any politicians like that?
Judges 1o: 3-18 A Man Who Deserved Some Jeers
Jair took over after the grandson of Dodo (sorry, that’s fun to write). Jair was a trip. Or, at least, his thirty sons were a trip. Jair gave them each a donkey. A donkey was the ride of preference back in that day. It is a mistake to think of Jesus being humble because He entered Jerusalem on a colt or donkey. The donkey was the ride of a king in that time. Jair had to have been very rich to be able to give his kids gifts like that. The problem was, like Tola, he didn’t do anything productive with his money. Today we call that Christians in the ‘burbs. He was the sixth judge.
Meanwhile, the Israelites did their pagan slide again. They began to worship the gods of the Moabites and Ammonites again. So Yahweh had to teach them a lesson allowing them to be oppressed by the pagans in the area that they had failed to drive out years before.
When they cried out to Him, Yahweh told them to have their pagan gods rescue them. He was sick of them. But they cried out all the more. So Yahweh relented and chose another judge to rescue them (remember judge meant “rescuer” or “deliverer”).
New Testament: Luke 24:13-53
Luke 24: 13-35 Road Trip
Two Jews were walking down the road to Emmaus and came across a man. They were talking about everything that had happened over the weekend. The man seemingly hadn’t heard the news. Cleopas was astounded that he hadn’t heard about everything that had happened. (The news had spread like wildfire through the city.) She explained that they were hoping that Jesus was going to be the one to redeem Israel. Cleopas also told “the man” that some women had also seen the tomb empty and that angels said Jesus was alive!
“The man” said, “what? Are you all dunces? Didn’t you read the Old Testament that prophesied all these things?” “The man” said it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and then enter into glory and He gave them an entire OT Bible Study explicating everything about Himself.
They got to their destination and the disciples asked Him to stay with them so He did. He was praying before they ate and all of the sudden the Holy Spirit revealed to them with Whom they were speaking. Then He disappeared. The disciples went back and told the apostles in Jerusalem that they had seen the Lord and how they talked on the road together and then recognized Him after He had said grace.
Luke 24: 36-53 Up, Up And Away
While the disciples were relating all these things to the apostles, Jesus appeared in the middle of them all. Jesus said, “Peace be to you.”
They had cognitive dissonance the same as the women at the tomb and tried to figure out what was going on. They figured they were seeing a spirit (v. 37). But Jesus could tell what they were thinking and asked them if a spirit had flesh and bones like He had. He showed them his hands and feel. They were still having trouble piecing things together because they were dumbstruck but filled with joy, too. He asked them if they had anything to eat. They only had fish and chips. So He ate that. (OK, they had just fish, no chips.)
Jesus explained that everything written in the Old Testament had to be fulfilled regarding Him. He said that’s why He had to be tortured and then rise from the dead on the third day. He said that everyone needed to hear that they had to change their minds about sin and turn to Him in faith. He told them to stay in Jerusalem until God endured them with power from Heaven.
He walked with them out to Bethany. He lifted His hands and blessed them. Then He floated up into the sky to Heaven.
All the disciples and apostles worshipped Him and returned to Jerusalem. They were ecstatic! They went to the temple every day so they could praise God for all that had happened.