“And they found Adoni-bezek in Bezek:… 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 their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.” (Judges 1:5-7)
The Buddhist idea of karma teaches that “what goes around comes around” and that all is equitable in the universe. Christianity agrees that all is equitable in God’s economy. However, what ought to come around to us has come around to the cross that we might be forgiven, spared, and spoiled by God’s mercy and grace. There is, however, still much truth in the old adage, as King Adoni-bezek learned the hard way.
He had spent his days in cruel and tyrannical oppression over his people. He confessed at the end of his life that he once maimed seventy kings and humiliated them in front of his own dinner guests as a sign of his pride and power. Now, through the advancing nation of Israel, God was exacting revenge for his crime. Not only was God delivering the promised land to Israel, He was in the meantime using them as His instrument of judgment against the wicked and idolatrous Canaanites.
Because Adoni-bezek lost his thumbs and his big toes, we can learn the big lesson that cruelty has a way of coming back to us. God always remains righteous as He judges sin and though we may not always understand His ways, we can trust that He is a just and fair judge. He is displeased with unecessary cruelty toward others and He handles vengeance in such matters. If you can’t learn this lesson then perhaps God will someday say to you, “I ‘toed’ you so!”