Central Christian Church Lampasas
Bad Boys - Leadership Gone Wrong
ad Boys explores some of the worst examples of leaders recorded in the Bible. Driven by popularity and power these leaders rejected God’s way. They made horrible decisions that impacted the lives of those around them. Life lessons can be learned from studying the misspent lives of these men. http://www.ccclampasas.org/2017/05/bad-boys-leadership-gone-wrong/
Locations & Times
  • Central Christian Church
    204 S Broad St, Lampasas, TX 76550, USA
    Sunday 10:30 AM

Series Page

All resources for the series. Audio files for sermons will be available within 2 days of the sermon date.

Abimelech, one of Gideon’s sons, served as a judge of Israel following the judgeship of Gideon.
Gideon was of the tribe of Manasseh and had led Israel to victory despite humanly impossible odds (Judges 7).

After this victory, he became wealthy and had several wives, including a concubine in Shechem who became the mother of Abimelech. It is a personal name meaning “My father is king.”

Abimelech enlisted the aid of his mother’s relatives in Shechem, who convinced the Baalist priests to give him a generous endowment from the temple of the god Baal-berith. With the money he hired an army of mercenaries to reinforce his Shechemite supporters.

Abimelech sought to use his wealth to gain power and to kill anyone who could challenge his rule. Any close male relative could present a challenge to his reign.

Using power to silence enemies is still a problem today. We still deal with people who believe they are above the law and that rules don’t apply to them.

Jesus calls us to set our eyes on the rewards of heaven and not on the fleeting pleasures of earth.
They then went back to his home in Ophrah, where they murdered sixty-nine of his half-brothers. The youngest, Jotham, escaped by hiding. The mob then proclaimed Abimelech king of all the tribes of Israel. Jotham, from a promontory on Mount Gerizim, exhorted them beautifully to return.
to God and reject Abimelech, but when the crowd became hostile he fled to Beer and remained there (Judges. 9:7)
We are dealing with a mass murder who lust for power blinded him to love, mercy, and justice.

Abimelech ruled for three years. He is not counted as a king of Israel, however, because he was not anointed, he made no claim to be faithful to God, and his claim to a throne was directly contradictory to the governmental system of Israel at the time, that of prophets and tribal judges. He was a despotic and tyrannical ruler, and he quickly lost the support of those who had originally made him king.

You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can’t sit on it for long.” – Boris Yeltsin

Abimelech sought to rule over Shechem by eliminating all his opposition—namely, by killing all the other sons of Gideon (Judges 9:1–2). All were killed except Gideon’s youngest son, Jotham (Judges 9:5). Abimelech then became king of Shechem (Judges 9:6).
Leaders should use power only when necessary.

“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” - George S. Patton

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that’s assault, not leadership.” – Dwight Eisenhower

Abemilek's lack of integrity, intelligence, and leadership skills doomed his reign.

After leading Shechem for three years, a conspiracy arose against Abimelech. Civil war broke out, leading to a battle at a town called Thebez (Judges 9:50). Abimelech cornered the leaders of the city in a tower and came near with the intention of burning the tower with fire.
An “upper millstone” was a large rock approximately 18 inches in diameter, and this is what landed on Abimelech’s head. Though he survived the crushing blow, Abimelech knew he would not live long. He commanded his young armor-bearer to finish him off for the sake of his reputation (a practice seen in other places in the Old Testament). The young man did as commanded, and the battle ended in the defeat of Abimelech’s forces.

Abimelech offers a negative example of how a leader is to influence others. He led by force, murdered his opposition, and led in such a manner that even his subjects sought to kill him. In contrast to the positive leadership of his father, Abimelech focused on his own personal gain, hurting many in the process.

Abimelech wasted his life. The martyrdom of Stephen is a striking contrast to Abimelech's wasted life.

Interestingly, a reference to Abimelech’s death would be made many years later during the reign of David. When Uriah was put on the front line of battle so he would die, Joab sent David a message that said,
This reference held both a practical and spiritual message for David. Practically speaking, the reference noted that Abimelech served as an example of not getting too close to a wall during a battle. Spiritually, the reference pointed out the flaw of leading for one’s own gain rather than out of service to God.

Despite the claim that he governed Israel (Judge. 9:22), his power probably did not extend much farther than the environs of Shechem. Abimelech is remembered primarily as an example of a petty warlord with dreams of glory, and as a warning to those who turn away from God.
Instead of men and women intent building their own kingdoms, God uses humble servant leaders.

We can never repay God's grace, love, and mercy. God requires a broken and contrite heart. Throughout the Bible, our Father is the one who comes, in grace, to the weak, the broken, the lost, the grief-stricken, the sinful, the alienated, the despised, the exiled, and the lonely.

How are we spending our lives? Are we investing in Christ’s kingdom or our own? We all have influence over someone. Are we servant leaders are we foolish leaders who lord our power over others?