the other shoe
Judges 9:22-33 (JDV)
Judges 9:22 When Abimelech had ruled over Israel three years,
Judges 9:23 God sent an evil breath between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem. They treated Abimelech deceitfully,
Judges 9:24 so that the crime against the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come to justice and their blood would be avenged on their brother Abimelech, who killed them, and on the landowners of Shechem, who had helped him kill his brothers.
Judges 9:25 The landowners of Shechem rebelled against him by putting men in ambush on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed everyone who passed by them on the road. So this was reported to Abimelech.
Judges 9:26 Gaal son of Ebed came with his brothers and crossed into Shechem, and the landowners of Shechem trusted him.
Judges 9:27 So they went out to the countryside and harvested grapes from their vineyards. They trampled the grapes and held a celebration. Then they went to the house of their god, and as they ate and drank, they cursed Abimelech.
Judges 9:28 Gaal son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelech and who is Shechem that we should serve him? Isn’t he the son of Jerubbaal, and isn’t Zebul his officer? You are to serve the men of Hamor, the father of Shechem. Why should we serve Abimelech?
Judges 9:29 If only these people were in my power, I would remove Abimelech.” So he said to Abimelech, “Gather your army and come out.”
Judges 9:30 When Zebul, the ruler of the city, heard the words of Gaal son of Ebed, he was angry.
Judges 9:31 So he secretly sent agents to Abimelech, saying, “Notice! Gaal son of Ebed, with his brothers, have come to Shechem and notice they are turning the city against you.
Judges 9:32 Now tonight, you and the troops with you, come and wait in ambush in the countryside.
Judges 9:33 Then get up early, and at sunrise attack the city. Notice when he and the troops who are with him come out against you, do to him whatever you can.”
the other shoe
Abimelech had murdered seventy men, and it appeared that he had gained the political position he wanted. But God would not allow his treachery and murder to go unpunished. The traitors who helped him to power now turned against him. This is what happens when you gain prominence by deceitfully using others. Sooner or later, the other shoe drops.
God’s message for those who seek leadership is that it has to be earned honestly. His message for those under leaders who lack integrity is that he oversees everyone. No one gets away with anything.
LORD, thank you for watching over the small and the great.