Judges 8:30-9:57

It was that time again. The time to pick a new leader. And for the Hill Street Gang, there couldn’t be anything more important. They’d learnt the need to have a good leader. But they’d also learnt from adults how to appoint someone to the position.

The Hill Street Gang were going to have an election. And they’d organised ballot papers and ballot boxes, especially for the event.

Their old leader had done well. But at thirteen he was getting a bit old; he was also drifting away from the gang. They needed someone new. And of all the other members—all six of them—three offered themselves as candidates for the job.

‘Vote for me. Vote for me,’ said Charlotte. Now Charlotte was keen for change. She was also keen that the leader should be a girl. The leader had always been a boy, so now it was time for a girl. And her argument her merit.

‘Vote for me. Vote for me,’ said Mark. And Mark was quite radical in way he wanted the gang to go. As far as he was concerned the gang needed a change of direction.

‘Vote for me. Vote for me,’ said Adam. But that’s about all that he said. He didn’t come up with any bright ideas at all. But he didn’t think he didn’t need to. He’d always been popular, and he thought that was enough to get him in.

Finally the day of the election arrived, and the Hill Street Gang were out in force—all seven of them—and the election was over in five minutes flat. And the winner? Well you guessed it . . . it was Adam, the one who was the most popular.

And, of course, everything went well for a while. Adam even had a party to celebrate his win. But it wasn’t long before things quickly went downhill. Adam may have been popular, but he wasn’t a leader. As a consequence the gang started to drift apart.

Now the other members of the gang were not happy. And it wasn’t long before Adam lost his popularity. They then began to forget they had elected him and started blaming each other for electing him leader. They also began to wonder what they could do to remove Adam from his position, in order to save their gang.

There was chaos. And all because they voted for Adam for the wrong reasons. But what were they to do? They had followed the adults’ election processes. What could possibly have gone wrong? They needed some advice; they needed some outside help. And so that’s what they did. And Adam, who wasn’t happy with the situation either, went with them.

And what they learned was they had done nothing wrong—they had followed the system perfectly. They had elected Adam in the same way that adults would have done. They also learned that adults had the same problem when they elected people for the wrong reasons too.

So that day the Hill Street Gang came away a little wiser. They took the advice that they were given, and they changed their decision—this time without an election. And now they have two leaders—Adam and Charlotte—and the gang has grown to be a very healthy eight members instead.


Now of course, as you can probably see, there can sometimes be problems with our leaders, because of who they are and the way they are elected. Not everyone who puts their hand up is necessarily fit for the job. And if we choose people because they are popular, we may not always get the right person. We may also need help in our decision-making processes.

A good example of that is when the Israelites chose the wrong leader. Indeed, they appointed a man named Abimelech simply because ‘he is one of us.’ The wrong reason. And they didn’t consult with God at all. As a consequence they very quickly found themselves in trouble. Is it any wonder, then, if we leave God out of our decision-making processes, that we can easily get ourselves into trouble too?

Whether we are adults voting for parliament, for local government, or for our Parish Council, or if we are voting in our school or for the leader of our gang, we need to be careful about whom we choose. We also need to ask God for his advice and help. We need to make sure that the right person gets the job—not necessarily the most popular—otherwise we will find ourselves in trouble too.

Posted 8th November 2019
© 2019, Brian A Curtis