In a world that often encourages us to chase our dreams and ambitions at any cost, it’s easy to get swept up in the pursuit of our own desires. After all, isn’t following our passions a good thing? In this video, we explore a story from the Bible of a man whose unchecked ambition and pride led to devastating consequences. Through his cautionary example, we’ll discover how society’s messages about success and achievement can sometimes blind us to the true state of our hearts. We’ll learn valuable lessons about examining our own desires and ambitions, and how to align them with God’s will. But here’s the good news: despite our failures and shortcomings, God can still use our missteps to teach us important lessons and guide us back to His path.


[Judges 8:23 NLT]

But Gideon replied, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son. The LORD will rule over you!



1.Ambition Without Submission is Dangerous


[Judges 9:1-3 NLT]

One day Gideon’s son Abimelech (from the concubine) went to Shechem to visit his uncles–his mother’s brothers. He said to them and to the rest of his mother’s family, 2 “Ask the leading citizens of Shechem whether they want to be ruled by all seventy of Gideon’s sons or by one man. And remember that I am your own flesh and blood!” 3 So Abimelech’s uncles gave his message to all the citizens of Shechem on his behalf. And after listening to this proposal, the people of Shechem decided in favor of Abimelech because he was their relative.



[Proverbs 16:18 NLT]

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.



[Proverbs 29:23 NLT]

Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.



[James 3:16 NLT]

For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.


[1 Peter 5:6 NLT]

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.



2. Ignoring Wickedness in a Community Invites God’s Judgment



[Judges 9:22-25 NLT] 

After Abimelech had ruled over Israel for three years, 23 God sent a spirit that stirred up trouble between Abimelech and the leading citizens of Shechem, and they revolted. 24 God was punishing Abimelech for murdering Gideon’s seventy sons, and the citizens of Shechem for supporting him in this treachery of murdering his brothers. 25 The citizens of Shechem set an ambush for Abimelech on the hilltops and robbed everyone who passed that way. But someone warned Abimelech about their plot.



[Micah 6:8 NLT]

No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.



[Proverbs 4:14-15 NLT]

Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers. 15 Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving.



[1 Corinthians 5:6-7 NLT]

Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you.



[1 Corinthians 15:33-34 NLT]

Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.



3. God’s Delayed Justice is Not Injustice


[Judges 9:50-57 NLT]

Then Abimelech attacked the town of Thebez and captured it. 51 But there was a strong tower inside the town, and all the men and women–the entire population–fled to it. They barricaded themselves in and climbed up to the roof of the tower. 52 Abimelech followed them to attack the tower. But as he prepared to set fire to the entrance, 53 a woman on the roof dropped a millstone that landed on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull. 54 He quickly said to his young armor bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me! Don’t let it be said that a woman killed Abimelech!” So the young man ran him through with his sword, and he died. 55 When Abimelech’s men saw that he was dead, they disbanded and returned to their homes. 56 In this way, God punished Abimelech for the evil he had done against his father by murdering his seventy brothers. 57 God also punished the men of Shechem for all their evil. So the curse of Jotham son of Gideon was fulfilled.



[2 Peter 3:9 NLT]

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.



[Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NLT]

That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.


Application Questions

  1. What stood out to you from this message and why?
  2. What is one thing God is telling you to START doing because of this message?
  3. What is one thing God is telling you to STOP doing because of this message?
  4. How will this message change how you act at home, at work, and in your relationships?