Opposable Thumbs and Big Toes
One of the most violent kings in the Old Testament was Adoni-bezek. He committed many atrocities, and was greatly feared. One of his trademarks of humiliation was to cut off the thumbs and big toes of the enemy kings that he captured. But why?
In those days, the leader of a town or settlement was considered a “king.” So, scattered all over the countryside were kings that warred against each other. Each wanted to capture the nearest settlement and thereby enlarge their own territory. If the king was not killed, he was grossly neutralize.
Adoni-bezek severed the thumbs and toes of his captives, in order to quash the possibility that they would be dangerous in the future. Without a thumb, it is almost impossible to hold a sword. Without a big toe, it is almost impossible to walk or run. This would totally inhibit the former king from being a future threat.
However, Adoni-bezek himself was captured. Judges 1:6-7, “But Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. And Adoni-bezek said: 'Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered food under my table; as I have done, so God hath requited me.' And they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.”
What he had done to others, now happened to him. While there are many lessons we can learn from this story, let me focus on the thumbs and toes. If you currently have a smart phone, you have probably texted a friend. Can you imagine how long it would take to text if you didn’t have thumbs? And without big toes, you would have a hard time wearing flip-flops.
The thumb is vitally important for labor dexterity. Carpenters need their thumbs to hold a hammer, and singers need a thumb to hold a microphone. The thumb represents our ability to accomplish beneficial acts of service and development. Doing is important for us as humans.
The big toe represents advancement. The toe helps us keep our balance, and to spring forward. God created the foot to rely on all five toes, and the big toe is the principal appendage. We are not supposed to be stagnant. We must keep moving. Going is another important aspect of the human life
Doing is vital for Christians (1 Timothy 5:8). Being lazy and unproductive is contrary to the teachings of Jesus. Paul teaches us “In everything set them an example by doing” (Titus 2:7). Also, we are to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5).
And going is also important for Believers. We are not supposed to just sit on the premises. We must get out to where the needy people are located, and be salt and light to them (Luke 8:16-18). Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel” (Mark 16:15). Luke taught us to “Go, stand and speak to the people” (Acts 5:20).
Satan wants to neutralize Believers by cutting off our thumbs (doing), and big toes (going). Known as the hinderer, Satan will try to cripple every effort we initiate to accomplish ministry endeavors (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Stand against the enemy, and refuse to be trapped in his evil schemes. Remember, “greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Keep doing and keep going for Christ!