Summary: God uses our weaknesses for his glory.
‘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.’
Bean was small and insignificant, or so everyone thought. That was how he got his name. He was a street orphan in Rotterdam in the late 21st century. He was trying to join a gang but they saw how small and weak he was. Leader said you’re not worth a bean and the name stuck. Just a small weakling. But one person saw deeper. A sister working for a mission that feed the children. Government program to seek out gifted children, she saw him and saw the potential. Bean the small, the weakling, the insignificant saved the world from the aliens.
Science fiction story by Orson Scott Card. But the theme of a small insignificant from nowhere saving the world is common in fiction. It is also common in the Bible. I want to look at one such story, the story of Ehud. Let’s turn to Judges 3.
God can use the obscure, the disabled and the disadvantaged
The Israelites cried out to the Lord gave them a deliverer, Ehud, a left-handed man.
Wait a minute why does it say he was left-handed. Why not the Lord gave them a deliverer, Ehud, he had brown hair or the Lord gave them a deliverer, Ehud, he had a big nose, well he was a Jew he probably did or even the Lord gave them a deliverer, Ehud, he had brown eyes.
In the past people looked down on left-handed people. Some of you who are left-handed might remember being forced to try to write with your right hand at school. In Biblical times it was worse people who left-handed were looked down on even more. It was seen as a disability. People didn’t like left-handed people. Yet this was the one whom God choose to deliver his people.
Left-handed people were looked down on, it was thought to be a disability.
So with apologies to anybody who is left-handed, but for this sermon we are going to treat left-handedness in this story as it was in the days it was written as a deformity. Although we now recognise this as not true.
Modern equivalent might be
The Scots cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer, Edward, an Englishman.
If all the Israelites were gathered together and put through tests to see which one people considered to the best choice to free them, Ehud would not have been in the top ten.
But Israel didn’t do the picking God did and he chose Ehud, a left-handed man.
It doesn’t matter what we are like; God can still use us.
Moses, murderer in exile
Jephthath’s bad background and his big mistake.
Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Jesus. Isaiah 52:14; 53:2-4
We shouldn’t look down on people and say what can they do? With God’s help anything He chooses.
It sometimes easy to look around at some new NTC students and say what on earth are they doing here. Sometimes I’ve thought about it myself, why on earth has God called me to this ministry, I’m a scientist, surely there must be better equipped people out there.
The Lord gave them a deliverer, Ehud, a left-handed man.
Low self esteem. Look at our selves and say what can God do with me?
Quite a lot.
Our bad backgrounds
Things you have done
Things you have said
Things that were done to you
Maybe for you it even is a physical deformity
But God can still use us
No matter what you think your faults or weaknesses are I can point to some one who was worse off and God still used. Are you a murderer, an outcast from society, someone who has refused to obey a direct command of God, God has used all of these and worse.
God can use our weaknesses
Not only did God use Ehud despite his weakness he used Ehud’s weakness to get the victory.
The trick that Ehud uses we might think of as a bit simple or how on earth did he get away with it but you have to remember the culture of the day.
Ehud goes to the king to bring a tribute but he conceals a short sword or dagger on his right leg. Why is that so important? Well a right-handed man would draw a sword from his left leg, so they would check his left leg for a sword.
Why wouldn’t they check his right leg? Left handed people were looked down on so much that it was assumed that they would all learn to use their right hand, they wouldn’t go round advertising the fact that they were left-handed by fighting with their left hand.