Summary: Part 4 of 6 of the series, Who’s That? Stories of little known people of the Bible. The whole book of Judges is filled with men and woman who are not preached about too often. Yet, there stories can be some of the most powerful told. Ehud’s story is a v
EHUD: "EH – WHO?"
Read at beginning of service:
Colossian 2:6-10 (NIV)
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
Today, I am continuing the series "Who’s That: Stories of Little Known people in the Bible". I must confess, I have heard many positive comments from some of you regarding the messages I’ve spoken. It is always an encouragement to know when people are eagerly anticipating hearing what I have to say. But at the same time I am humbled by the impact these messages have had in my own life as well – for I know that they aren’t anything I have come up with but what God has granted through me.
Truly the folks we have looked at so far have taught us a lot: Lot, and his compromises; Nadab and Abihu and their strange fire; and Rahab and her simple faith. They certainly are not unknown in my mind anymore!
Today we’re going to look at the story of an underdog. I guess these kinds of stories tend to be popular don’t they? When an unknown, unlikely, and overmatched individual goes up against the big guys and wins, we all take pleasure in the accomplishment, don’t we? I think we love these stories because we see ourselves as underdogs. It gives us hope and motivation if someone like us has a great victory! Today we’re going to looking at one such underdog in the book of Judges.
There is a negative side to this book. The verse found in Judges 17:6 kind of characterizes this:
Judges 17:6 (NIV)
6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.
Joshua had led the nation of Israel into the land, defeating 31 kings in the process, but in Judges, Israel suffered great failure. The people did not drive the enemies out of the land. Another generation had arisen that "did not know the Lord nor the work He had done." The nation experienced this cycle of slavery time and time again.
But there is a positive side to this book too. God raised up judges, men and women of faith, unknown and unlikely heroes, who led Israel out of bondage. Today, we’re going to examine the story of one of these people… Judges 3:12-31 (NIV)
12 Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel. 13 Getting the Ammonites and Amalekites to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms. 14 The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years. 15 Again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he gave them a deliverer--Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute to Eglon king of Moab. 16 Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a foot and a half long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing. 17 He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man. 18 After Ehud had presented the tribute, he sent on their way the men who had carried it. 19 At the idols near Gilgal he himself turned back and said, "I have a secret message for you, O king." The king said, "Quiet!" And all his attendants left him. 20 Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his summer palace and said, "I have a message from God for you." As the king rose from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly. 22 Even the handle sank in after the blade, which came out his back. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it. 23 Then Ehud went out to the porch; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them. 24 After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, "He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the house." 25 They waited to the point of embarrassment, but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead. 26 While they waited, Ehud got away. He passed by the idols and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he arrived there, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hills, with him leading them. 28 "Follow me," he ordered, "for the LORD has given Moab, your enemy, into your hands." So they followed him down and, taking possession of the fords of the Jordan that led to Moab, they allowed no one to cross over. 29 At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not a man escaped. 30 That day Moab was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace for eighty years. 31 After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.