Watch Your Mouth... and Your Back!

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, October 15, 2016 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

I will probably never forget the times where, when I was younger, my temper caused me to say things that got me into trouble. From childhood outbursts over family yard games, to a middle school lunch room argument that lead to an almost comical after school showdown, to many other moments I'd rather not mention. As a human being, I am not immune to the syndrome that periodically afflicts us all - inserting our foot into our mouth.

If you read the passage for today in Judges 9:30-41, you will see the Gaal was unfortunately afflicted with this same problem, and it cost him his life. Not only did Gaal take things into his own hands and not wait for God to deal with Abimelech, but he publicly boasted that he would destroy Abimelech if the people would follow him. Gaal had gall, to the point of arrogance. Gaal also was not smart enough to check his audience and watch his back (along with his mouth).

Zebul, the leader of the city of Shechem, reported Gaal to Abimelech. Abimelech comes to fight Gaal. Zebul criticizes Gaal and taunts him to go out and fight Abimelech. Based on the passage, others did join Gaal, but probably very few. Gaal is chased off, and Zebul drives Gaal's family out of the city - probably thinking that his 'loyalty' to Abimelech will be rewarded in a good way. But it isn’t; more on that next week.

Gaal had a big mouth, passion, and courage to stand up to Abimelech. But he didn't have God's support, and he didn't have the support of the people around him. So, props for fighting the bad guy, Gaal, but next time you need to check your ego at the door and wait on God.

Have you ever been like Gaal – so confident of how right you were, or what you could do, that you blurted it out, almost daring everyone to test you? Have you had a Zebul, who decides to protect his own interests and sells you out to the local bully, or to those who are looking for a way to bring you down?

There are a couple simple things we can remember from Gaal's example:
- Don't boast about what you can do.
- Don't threaten a powerful person unless you have an army to back it up.
- Don't fight an enemy without God.
- Don't assume everyone who agrees with you will join you or have your back.

The last one is important for young people and young leaders. Sometimes, people who agree with your stance on an issue may not agree with your solution. Worse yet, they may see your solution as a way to betray or remove your position and protect themselves. Had Gaal been listening more to God, and more aware of how others perceived the danger he was inviting, he may not have created the prideful situation that came before his fall (or more accurately his 'run').

And let me take this one step farther, by connecting it to our online social media chatter. What are you saying? Who is reading it? What could be the consequences of your words (Matthew 12:36)?

I am dismayed to see such shaming, judgment, and just downright ignorant banter on almost every current topic in the media. Even if you don't have a 'Zebul' listening and ready to sell you out, you will have to explain the words you said to God one day. Are you going to be ok with the consequences you face for careless words?

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.