The Faithful Pacesetters

Learning leadership from those who led in the Bible

Power Hungry?

Bible Character: Abimelech

Even though Israel had not started a monarchy system, after the death of his father Gideon, Abimelech self-appointed himself king. He did this by coercing the people of Shechem to support him. 

Abimelech was supposed to share the leading of the Israelites with his brothers, but he wanted all the power to himself, and went against God’s plan.  His first step as king was to kill 69 of his 70 brothers, only one escaped by hiding.

What identifies a power hungry leader?


Leaders who long for power are usually concerned mostly about themselves, not the interests of others.  They may even put the organization at risk to hold on to that power and maintain being the center focus. 

Power hungry leaders enjoy hearing accolades about themselves; they actually seek out those comments.  This usually leaves little room in their lives for building other people up through positive feedback.

They appear to have confidence, but often that’s really insecurity with a false front.


The administration of a power hungry leader will usually have a foundation of low values.  Cheating, dishonesty, and disrespect seem to be acceptable. 

Their number one goal is to keep all the power, and they will do whatever is needed in order to maintain it.  Abimelech somehow justified killing sixty nine of his brothers!

If you are in a position of power be aware of the selfishness that can creep in when you least expect it.  Guard your high moral standards and raise the expectations of those around you.

Abimelech did have some tactical skills and remained in power for three years.  God then unleashed his wrath on Abimelech and all the men of Shechem.  Abimelech was killed by a millstone that cracked his skull, dropped by a woman from a tower as he approached to burn it down.


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