Wednesday, June 5
Abimelech encounters opposition when Gaal moves into Shechem. Gaal, who doesn't respect Abimelech, actively campaigns against Abimelech's authority and rule, and as a result, the men of Shechem turn to Gaal and "put confidence in him" (vs. 26). Unfortunately for Gaal, however, he isn't very wise in how he behaves. He's prideful and likes to blow smoke. Gaal openly defies Abimelech to the men of the city and mocks him as a leader, declaring boldly and publically, "Who is Abimelech, and who are we of Shechem, that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerubbaal, and is not Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem; but why should we serve him?" (vs. 28).
Gaal's boastful words come back to bite him when Zebul, Abimelech's friend and leader of the city of Shechem, overhears Gaal's mocking threats. Zebul alerts Abimelech about Gaal and his plans. Abimelech then promptly deals with issue by engaging Gaal and his men in battle and ultimately running them out of the city.
This portion of the account of Abimelech's rule immediately brought to mind Proverbs 10:10, which warns us that "a babbling fool will come to ruin." Gaal was a babbling fool. His inability to keep from boasting and promoting himself by mocking Abimelech derailed his hopes of leading the people of Shechem and brought about much destruction and death.
Here are a few additional verses from Proverbs for a bit more food for thought about watching and limiting our words.
"A fool's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating." (Proverbs 18:6)
"A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul." (Proverbs 18:7)
"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble." (Proverbs 21:23)
How have you experienced the messages from Proverbs and/or the lesson we saw with Gaal (our words bringing about a fight or ruin) in the past? What's one thing that helps you watch your words before you speak or respond to a situation? Tami
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