The Lord’s Weapons of Choice – 5


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Scripture Text – Judges 3

The weapons we fight with as Christian soldiers engaged in spiritual warfare, are not the weapons of the world.

The Apostle Paul wrote along those lines to the believers in Corinth (2 Corinthians 10:4), reminding them of a principle every Christian needs to take to heart: When God goes to war, He usually chooses the most unlikely soldiers, hands them the most unusual weapons, and accomplishes through them the most unpredictable results.

God is still looking for men and women who have what it takes to win: power, strategy, and courage. These three essentials for victory are illustrated in this chapter in the lives of the first three judges.

Ehud: Effective Strategy

And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. Then he gathered to himself the people of Ammon and Amalek, went and defeated Israel, and took possession of the City of Palms. So the children of Israel served Eglon king of Moab eighteen years. – Judges 3:12-14.

Please continue reading Judges 3:15-30 for the background of this section.

Ehud, the deliverer (Judges 3:15-30) – continued. The second problem was securing a private audience with the king without exciting the distrust of his attendants and guards. Ehud did this first by leaving the king’s presence together with his men after they had done homage to Eglon, and then Ehud coming back later alone as though he had an urgent message for the king. A solitary man with a lame right hand couldn’t be much of a threat to a powerful king, and perhaps this despised Jew really did have a word from his God. Eglon may have felt proud that the God of Israel had a message for him, and his arrogance wouldn’t have wanted to know for sure; and since he was no doubt afraid not to listen to it, he dismissed his guards and attendants and gave Ehud a personal interview in his private chambers.

Since Ehud had to kill Eglon in a way that was quick and quiet and that would catch the king by surprise, he made use of his disability. Ehud made a very sharp dagger and hid it under his clothing on his right side. Even if the guards frisked him, they would most likely examine the left side of his body where most men carried their weapons. Seeing that he was a handicapped man, they probably didn’t examine him at all.

et in God's presence

Even a king must stand to receive a message from God. When Eglon stood, Ehud may have gestured with his right hand to distract him and show him there was nothing in his hand; and then Ehud reached for his dagger and plunged it into the fat king’s body. It must have been a powerful thrust because the point of the dagger came out the king’s back; and Eglon was dead instantly.

The next problem for Ehud was how to escape from the palace without getting caught, and this he accomplished by locking the door of the private chamber and delaying the discovery of the corpse. As Ehud hastened away, the attendants concluded that the interview was over; so they went to see if their king wanted anything. The three “behold” statements in verses 24–25 of the King James Version indicate the three surprises that they experienced: the doors were locked, the king didn’t respond to their knocks and calls, and the king was dead. The New King James Version combines all of this under the term, “to their surprise,” however, all of these “surprises” took time and gave Ehud the opportunity to escape.

His final problem was to rally the troops and attack the enemy. The trumpet signal called the men out, and he led them to the fords of the Jordan, assuring them that the Lord had given Moab into their hands. The victory would come by trusting the Lord and not by depending on their own strength. By guarding the fords, the Israelites prevented the Moabites from escaping or from bringing in fresh troops. Since Ephraim was one of the most powerful tribes in Israel, Ehud had excellent soldiers to command. Accordingly, they killed 10,000 of the best Moabite soldiers. Not only was Moab defeated, but also the tables were turned and the Moabites became subject to Israel. We assume that Moab’s defeat was the signal for their allies Ammon and Amalek to leave the field of battle.

If the Israelites had been asked to vote on a leader, Ehud probably would have lost on the first ballot. But he was God’s choice, and God used him to set the nation free. Moses was slow of speech and Paul was not imposing in his appearance, but Moses and Paul, like Ehud, were men of faith who led others to victory. Ehud turned a disability into a possibility because he depended on the Lord. What an awesome message for all of us today!

To Be Continued

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Adaptation of excerpts from Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Available, “Be” Commentary Series.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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