Judges 9:30-33, 36-38
And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.…
Zebul served Abimelech faithfully according to his lights. His devotion appears strangely misplaced.
I. GOD RELATES THE LIVES OF THE GOOD AND THE BAD FOR WISE ENDS. "Never any man was so ill as not to have some favourers: Abimelech hath a Zebul in the midst of Shechem" (Bp. Hall). Every situation has its moral complications.
II. THE WORTHLESSNESS AND IMMORALITY OF A SUPERIOR DO NOT EXONERATE FROM EXTERNAL RESPECT AND FAITHFUL DUTY, UNLESS HIS AUTHORITY IMPOSES UNRIGHTEOUS TASKS. Much of the routine of life is neutral from a moral point of view, otherwise it would be impossible for the righteous to live amongst men. We must fulfil our bond until the conduct of our employer renders it impossible for us to serve God in serving him. So with natural duties, as of a child to a parent.
III. ON THE OTHER HAND, FAITHFULNESS IN DETAILS WILL NOT ATONE FOR NEGLECTING TO STUDY THE MORAL DRIFT OF THE WHOLE SITUATION OF WHICH THESE DETAILS ARE A PART. The judgment of Abimelech involves Zebul. There comes a time when we share the guilt of the master in continuing to serve him. An honourable quittance should be sought at once in such a case, "The Lord will provide." Otherwise we shall be involved in the same judgment. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.