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Strongholds

Judges 9:45-57- Abimelech captures the city (their first line of defense). The people flee to the stronghold in the center of the city (their second line of defense). It was here, in Thebez (“whiteness, conspicuous”), were he was beaten, even after capturing the city. When Satan's first defense is beaten (accepting Christ), he retreats to his stronghold within our life (stronghold in the center, or inner part; an area of control). If we don't allow the Holy Spirit to bring it down with fire (baptism of fire, fiery trials), allowing Him to build His stronghold on top of it (see Judges 6:25-26) we will be beaten and die also. If Satan loses his first wall of defense, he retreats to his stronghold within us where he fights from. It never allows us to live completely free in the Lord, hindering our service for him, and could eventually kill us.

45 And Abimelech [“my father is king”] fought against the city all that day, and he captured the city and killed the people who were in it; then he razed the city and sowed it with salt.

46 When all the leaders of the tower [6877- “in the sense of clearness of vision, a citadel”] of Shechem heard of it, they entered the inner chamber [NIV- “stronghold”] of the temple of El [410]-berith [1286].

(NAS)


410 'el (ale);

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

shortened from 352; strength; as adjective, mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity):

KJV-- God (god), X goodly, X great, idol, might (-y one), power, strong. Compare names in "-el."

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

1) God, God-like One, the Mighty One

a) mighty men, men of rank, mighty heroes

b) angels

c) a god, a false god, (demons, imaginations)

d) God, the one true God, Jehovah (Yahweh)

2) mighty things in nature

3) strength, power

1286 Beriyth (ber-eeth');

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

the same as 1285; Berith, a Shechemitish deity

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

Berith = "covenant";

in the name of Baal-berith, a foreign deity worshiped in Shechem



Judges 9:49- The stronghold is destroyed by fire.

49 And all the people also cut down each one his branch and followed Abimelech, and put them on the inner chamber and set the inner chamber on fire over those inside, so that all the men of the tower of Shechem also died, about a thousand men and women.

(NAS)



Judges 9:50-57- Satan throws things at us to take us out of service to the Lord from his area of control over certain areas within us.

50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez [8405- “whiteness, conspicuous”], and he camped against Thebez and captured it.

51 But there was a strong tower in the center of the city, and all the men and women with all the leaders of the city fled there and shut themselves in; and they went up on the roof of the tower.

52 So Abimelech came to the tower and fought against it, and approached the entrance of the tower to burn it with fire.

53 But a certain woman threw an upper [“a piece”] millstone on Abimelech's head, crushing his skull.

54 Then he called quickly to the young man, his armor bearer, and said to him, "Draw your sword and kill me, lest it be said of me, 'A woman slew him.'" So the young man pierced him through, and he died.

55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, each departed to his home.

56 Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father, in killing his seventy brothers.

57 Also God returned all the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads, and the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal [Gideon] came upon them.

(NAS)



Judges 6:25-27- See the note below.

25 Now the same night it came about that the LORD said to him, "Take your father's bull and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it;

26 and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner [4634], and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down."

(NAS)


4634 ma` arakah (mah-ar-aw-kaw');

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

feminine of 4633; an arrangement; concretely, a pile; specifically a military array:

KJV-- army, fight, be set in order, ordered place, rank, row.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

a row, a rank, a battle-line

a) a battle-line

b) a rank

c) a row


Gideon (“warrior, hewer, to cut down, to destroy anything”) cuts down Satan's altar and then builds the Lord's right on top of it in an orderly manner (see 1 Chronicles 13-15). This is what the Lord desires within each one of His children.

This chapter describes the call of God to Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites. Because Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, He gave them into the hands of Midian for 7 years. Gideon was to destroy the altars of the false gods (Baal) his father worshipped, building an altar to God right on top of it. The Lord specifically stated in verse 26 that he was to do this in an “orderly manner.” The Hebrew for this word refers to a military array, a battle line, which is very similar to the definition for “orderly” in Colossians 2:5 (see the Bible study Order In The Body).

The altar among God’s people was the first thing to be re-established before there would be deliverance from their enemies. The church in America must do the same. The altar is now within us. The problem is an internal one. We too have been influenced by the false gods within our land. They have drawn our devotion away from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Elijah was called by God to do something similar to Gideon in 1 Kings 18. Once again the Israelites were guilty of Baal worship, neglecting the altar of God through a divided heart (see the Bible study Divided Heart). Verse 30 tells us that Elijah told all the people to come near him. He then proceeded to repair the altar of God which had been torn down. As we near the end of this age, the Lord is saying the same thing to His people in this nation; “Draw near to Me.” (See the Bible study The Return Of Jesus Christ.)



2 Corinthians 10:3-6- Casting down Satan's thoughts, or schemes within us and obeying Jesus.

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,

4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction [“pulling down”] of fortresses [“strongholds”].

5 We are destroying speculations [“reasoning, imaginations, thought”] and every lofty thing [“elevated structure”]raised up [“to be lifted up with pride”] against the knowledge [“understanding”] of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

(NAS)


Proverbs 10:29

29 The way of the LORD is a stronghold [“refuge, strength”] to the upright, but ruin to the workers of iniquity.

(NAS)


Proverbs 18:10

10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.

(NAS)


Psalm 9:9

9 The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble,

(NAS)


Psalm 59:9,16-17

9 Because of his strength I will watch for Thee, for God is my stronghold.

16 But as for me, I shall sing of Thy strength; yes, I shall joyfully sing of Thy lovingkindness in the morning, for Thou hast been my stronghold, and a refuge in the day of my distress.

17 O my strength, I will sing praises to Thee; for God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.

(NAS)


Nahum 1:7

7 The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.

(NAS)



Restoring Those Hit With A Rock


Galatians 6:1

1 Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.

(NAS)


Hebrews 12:11-13

11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble,

13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

(NAS)


2 Samuel 14:14

14 "For we shall surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one may not be cast out from him.

(NAS)


1 Timothy 5:24

24 The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after.

(NAS)


Jude 1:22-23

22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting;

23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted [“spotted, defiled”] by the flesh.

(NAS)



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