Summary: God uses the weak to accomplish His will. Don't focus on our disabilities or abilities, but on the God who calls us.
Israel fell into sin and into the hands of Eglon, King of Moab.
• The Moabites forged alliances the Ammonites and Amalekites, two of Israel’s arch-enemies, and together they came against Israel.
• They captured the City of Palms, which is Jericho. That’s the first city and victory for Israel in this land, but now taken back by the Canaanites.
God disciplined His people by making them live in subjection to Moab.
• When we turn our face from God, this is what we can expect. We are on our own.
• God disciplines to remind us who is really in control. When we act like we don’t need God anymore, He has ways of reminding us that we need him all the time.
If Israel had not done evil in the eyes of the Lord (3:12), they would have peace in their land (3:11). But they did evil and were oppressed for 18 years!
• The suffering finally took its toll on the people and they cried out to God.
• God responded (last week sermon - God always responds, delivers and wins) and raised up Ehud, son of Gera from the tribe of Benjamin.
The Bible highlighted to us that this man was left-handed.
• The text made references to this a few times. His hiding the dagger on the right side, that he used his left hand to draw the sword out at the critical moment (3:21)
When I first joined the seminary, one of the first thing we do during the orientation was to take a Spiritual Knowledge quiz. All kinds of questions, but I remember this – Who is the left-handed judge?
They were multiple-choice questions, so I guessed. Do not know if I guessed correctly.
What struck me then was, what is this? There is so many important spiritual truth in the Bible and you are asked, who is the left-handed judge?
The word LEFT-HANDED in the original language is IMPEDED-HAND-RIGHT SIDE.
• The author wasn’t telling us that he is left-handed (the way we usually understand it today). He is not referring to his dominant hand.
• Rather he was telling us that Ehud could only use his left hand - his right is disabled in some way. In a sense, he was handicapped.
Ehud would have been an unlikely candidate considering his disability.
• Yet the author wants us to know that he was used of God to accomplish a great feat.
• His apparent weakness becomes a strength. His disability actually becomes the centrepiece in this assassination plot.
Ehud was able to conceal a weapon on his right side where the King’s guards would not have expected to find a threat.
• Warriors in the ancient world are trained to wield their sword using their right hand, with the scabbard on the left. The guards would not have searched his right side.
• The King was unguarded too, especially seeing that Ehud’s right hand was free.
God Use Us Not INSPITE of Our Weakness But BECAUSE of Them
• God helps us when we serve Him. Our focus is on Him, and not in our disabilities or even our abilities.
• Ehud’s weakness turned out to be an advantage, a strength.
1 Cor 1:26-30 26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him.
• God has a history of rising up “weak” people to accomplish His purposes.
• Moses says he cannot speak well, slow of speech and tongue (Exo 4:10), and he was asked to confront Pharaoh.
• David was a shepherd boy, untrained and inexperienced, when he was led to fight Goliath.
• For the many servants of God called, little was said about their abilities.
Joni Erickson, paralysed from the neck down, and Nick Vujicic (vo yeh sick), born with no limbs. Both were so depressed and suicidal at one point in their lives.
• Yet they are now both exceptionally used by God to touch the lives of countless people. In fact, they can minister in ways that many normal people cannot.
• God uses their “disabilities”. There is no handicap with God.
Even for a man born blind, Jesus says “this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3) The blind man may be ignorant of that!
• Imagine this. Even for a man born blind, God can still use him for His purpose.