Revolutionaries and terrorists have always sought power through insurrection, rebellion, revolt, war, assassination, terrorism, or convincing arguments. Seeking power and authority is a common ambition within the hearts of people; an ambition that is present within every group or body of people. The desire for some level of authority or power is within the heart of all of us, ranging from the family through social groups, community organizations, businesses, and all departments of government.
But we must realize is this fact: there is a good and an evil seeking of authority; a legitimate and an illegitimate seeking of power. There is good ambition and bad ambition; a righteous ambition and an evil ambition. Ambition becomes evil when power is sought for selfish purposes. As power is sought to gain an advantage over others, for the purpose of dominating others, or for living in extravagance, indulgence, and license, it is evil. When ambition for power leads a person to hoard and neglect others or to harm and damage others or oneself—that ambition or power is wrong.
The present passage has to do with the evil ambition of seeking power for selfish purposes. The guilty culprit was Abimelech, one of the sons of Gideon. When his father died, he wanted to become the king over the territory that his father had served as judge. Chapter 9 of Judges is the story of Abimelech.