Judges 3:15 – But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
Judges 3:16 – But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
Judges 3:17 – And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.
Hello all, back with a new blog today, and from Judges 3, the story of Ehud, who was one of the judges of Israel. I would recommend reading Judges 3 first! Ehud is a little known character in the Bible, but the story of him and how he dealt with Eglon, the king of the Moabites, who were oppressing Israel, is recorded in the Bible. It is quite an unusual story, as many of the Judges exploits are, many times I have read it and sort of draw a blank on it. How does this help me? Cool story, but is that all it is? The Bible has infinite value, the books of the Bible, the chapters, the verses are not just put in to fill space, for something to write, God uses the whole Bible to teach his children great spiritual truths, to warn, to reprove, to encourage, and ultimately to reveal himself through his Son to us. God wants to build our faith in him through his word. Just trust his word, believe that God has spoken and what he has said. The whole Bible start to finish is a witness, a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, when we see him in the pages, we understand what God is saying. Difficult passages suddenly become crystal clear, it doesn’t take a “Dr” in front of your name, all it takes is a humble heart reading and believing what it is saying. There are heaps of chapters which I don’t understand currently, but God will show them to me as he needs to.
Eglon was the king of the Moabites. The Moabites had invaded Israel and were dominating Israel. God was judging Israel for departing from him and he used the oppression of other nations to cause repentance in his people. God raised up a deliverer for Israel and Ehud devised and executed a courageous, bold plan which God honored, and Israel was delivered from Moab. We are told Eglon was a very fat man. And today we will look at Eglon as he represents the devil, the world, the flesh. The devil is a cruel master, and he profits from the people he oppresses. And hence the title, who is getting fat off of you? Is the devil your fat, fat master? Has he ruined your life, is he reaping all that is and could have been yours?
We are taught in God’s word that the devil is a robber, a thief, he takes that which is not his. He will take everything from you as you serve him. Ultimately he will take your life, your very soul, if you are not saved. Because if you are not saved you will go to a hell that was not meant for you, but for him and his angels. He hates humanity and is the mortal enemy of mankind. However, he does not always manifest him in this way, he appears as an angel of light, and uses our flesh and the world to make very enticing offers, to wrap up sin in the most beautiful and appealing and justifiable ways. Eglon also represents the world and the world’s evil system which hates God, the same world which rejected Jesus, which will spit you out the other end when it is done with you. You can spend your whole life trying to be something or someone, and in the end it will let you down, all that in the world is vanity, it will all pass away. Eglon also represents our flesh, we all have the flesh to deal with, as saved people we still have our cursed flesh which wars against the Spirit in our lives, which creates such a paradoxical dilemma in our hearts as we wrestle with sin. But God is greater, his grace is sufficient every day, every hour, every minute for us.
Eglon was a filthy master. The devil, the world, our flesh is filthy, gluttonous, dirty. When Ehud thrust his dagger in the Bible says the dirt came out. The grime, the filth, the fat. He had feasted on that which was not his, he had fattened himself with Israel’s blessings. Things he had no right to, things which were not his, yet were his because of the disobedience and rejection of God of Israel. The devil will take everything from you that he has no right to. He could take all your blessings, he could take your youth, your witness, your blessings, your happiness, your joy, your days, and then your life. He is a murderer, an accuser, a resister, a false witness. They are not his to take though, you need not let him take them. How? By being saved, by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thrust the dagger into Eglon. Leave him dead behind closed doors as Ehud did. If you deal with him with the dagger of the word of God, Jesus will deal with him for you, and the result will be so full and final that the dagger will be irretrievable and forgotten in the bowels of your enemy. Don’t let him take any more from you. Repent, forsake sin, love God, we know the word of God says the commandments of God are not grievous. We as saved people obey his commands not because we have to, but because we want to, because they are good for us, because they are life, because we love him. In the same way as the devil will fatten himself with your life, so will the world and your flesh. Someone will get the fat of your life, but who?
Like the raven pecking on the carcases that floated after the great flood, like the same raven that enjoyed and revelled in feasting on the bloated dead that that he returned no more to the ark, so our flesh loves to feast on envy, bitterness, hatred, lust and all our sin. But they are deceitful, sin is a traitor, sin is a Judas, because we sin, but then the sin robs us, our sin pecks our own eyes out, ruining our lives. Moses said, Be sure your sin will find you out. Let Jesus take your sin, let him deal with your sin, his blood, his cross sets us free from the guilt, from the power, from the practice of sin. We read God’s wonderful, gracious, merciful promises in the Bible which is so precious for all who feel the pangs of wasted years, of lost blessings, of regrets whatever they may be. Hosea 13:9 – O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. Joel 2:25 – And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. We read in Joel before that quoted verse of the rampaging northern army who devours everything in its path, whose destruction and misery seemingly know no bounds, who strip and lay everything bare. Yet God can erase the locust hoarde, yet God promises to restore the lost years, the lost harvests, the lost time – he can restore all the years the locusts have eaten and he will. Turn to him. Rely on him, place your existence, your being, your faith, your everything on him. Pin your soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, who he is, what he has done … what he does! He is alive today at the right hand of the Father! And he is coming back soon!
It takes courage. As God told Joshua, be strong and courageous, be very courageous, so Ehud was courageous. Obey the word of God. Meditate on them, bind them before your eyes, lay them to heart, consume the words of God, as Job said, he esteemed God’s word more than his food. Jesus overcame Satan by the word of God. Heart belief of the word, not intellectual assessment and digestion of the word. Believe it, own it. In 1 John, John said he wrote to the young men because the Word of God abided in them. They were strong. Jesus is the Word of God. He is the Living Word, the Bible is the written Word. The dagger of Ehud represents God’s word, the sword with two edges, the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, which alone deals with the enemy once and for all. It is God’s word, applying God’s word, being a doer, because of the reality in your heart, not a bunch of rules, that pierces through the fattened flesh of our enemy. Which frees us. Which makes the dirt fall out. Which deals with all the filth in our lives, which gets the the heart of issues, which is the razor sharp ray of light through the misty darkness of confusion, lies and deceit. God’s word is everything, God has magnified it above his very name, he swears by his name. Don’t let the devil thieve and rob any more of your life. Don’t let him fatten himself at your expense, profit from your failure, gain from your losses, manipulate your life and sift you like wheat any longer.
The fat belongs to God. This is amazing. When Abel brought his sacrifice way back in Genesis 4, he brought the fat, he gave it to God. Because the fat belongs to God. Let him have the fat of your life. Give glory to him. Glory not in yourself, your reasoning, your wisdom, your intellect, your performance – which are nothing anyway, which only deceive and confound yourself – but glory in the cross as Paul said in Galatians. Our glory, our hope, our life, our existence, our being is pinned on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the I AM. God deserves the glory, the glory is his, God can handle what you cannot, God can do what you cannot, give your all to God, and it will not be lost nor wasted. The devil, the world, the flesh defrauds, robs, steals, manipulates, cheats, lies, kills, but God gives life, eternal life, abundant life, deliverance, grace, joy, freedom, blessing. It says in 1 Peter 4:19 – Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. He is faithful. HE is faithful to us. That is the faith that matters, we waver, we struggle, we cry as the man with the sick daughter cried to Jesus, I believe Lord, help my unbelief. He hears the humble cry. He does hear.
But what I’ve been typing … sometimes it doesn’t feel that way does it? It feels the other way around. Maybe you feel God has let you down, that he doesn’t hear, that you or him have done something wrong, that there is an irreparable disconnect. That it has all gone so horribly wrong, that it is all so bent hopelessly out of shape. But it is not true, God works through the pain in life to bring the good. It is in the darkness where light shines the brightness. It is in your weakness when he is strong. And he will reveal himself and show you the truth of situations. He was there all along. He guided your steps, he protected you, he was there as you walked the valley of the shadow of death. The devil can spin a web of lies we cannot see beyond at a point in time. But it is only a point of time, our finite view is nothing compared to the awesome foreknowledge of God, that’s why we have to trust him not ourselves. All the suffering, pain will work together for good just as God promises to those that believe him, to those that love and just simply trust him. Joseph could’ve been bitter, felt let down, abandoned, he got a very raw end of the deal, just like Job seemingly did. Yet Job wrote in Job 23:10 – But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Wow. And Joseph and Job did come forth as gold. Their end was better than their beginning. It is important to remember that our life here on earth, though sometimes, even a lot of the time, spent in pain, spent in doubt, spent wondering what the hell is going on!, is not even a fraction of eternity. In the scope of eternity, the important thing is being saved, we as saved people have a whole eternity to look forward to, these sufferings as Paul wrote are nothing in the context of eternity. It is true, but it can be so hard for us to see at the time, when we are in the midst of the storm! But is Jesus in your ship? Are you in God’s boat, which will arrive at land despite the great storm, which Jesus will still!? God tries our faith, let him bring you forth as gold, and you will look back on the most painful moments as the finest, God turns evil to good, God can turn your darkest darkness to the greatest badge of his honor and glory.
It is important also to consider a critical lesson from the life of Absalom at this point. Because it is those feeling let down by God who are incredibly vulnerable to the devil. Absalom stole the hearts of Israel in 2 Samuel 15. He did so very cleverly, and we see through Absalom’s life, how the devil works to deprive, cheat, and steal people’s hearts from God who feel that God is not giving them what they deserve, who feel like they’ve been dealt a bad hand in life. The Israelites used to come to king David, and he would hear their grievances and controversies, and judge between them, judge their causes, hear their demands and make rulings. But Absalom figured out devilishly that he could turn their hearts from king David to himself by putting on a show, as the devil might well do, with embracing them, hearing them, stroking their ego, their pride, by preying on their displeasure, their controversy, their discontentment. Absalom wanted to be king, he hated king David, he was the enemy, and the hearts that he stole were not his to take, yet he stole them, just as the devil steals from us and all unbelievers. Watch that Absalom does not steal your heart. Because he will meet you before you meet the king. He will pretend to be your friend. But he hates you. He is using you to advance his own end, ultimately he does not care for you at all, he hates you, he will use you and be done with you, he won’t help you. He will hear you, he will say the right things to your soul, he will whisper that the king, that God, has no time for you, has forgotten you, doesn’t hear you, and he will win you over. He will make you bitter, he will turn you against God to himself. Don’t let it happen. Absalom is doomed, the devil is doomed, stay faithful to the true king, to the Lord Jesus Christ, even despite the whispers and doubt of the enemy that poses as reason, that poses as your friend.
So where do you start? Just make a start. Even if you are alone as Ehud was. Because Ehud was alone, but then suddenly the rest of Israel followed. If you are living and trusting in the word of God, God will go to war for you. Ultimately it was all God, Ehud trusted God, obeyed God, and God wrought a great deliverance by his hand. And then there was freedom, joy, liberty in all the land. Don’t let fat Eglon profit out of your life any longer, let God have the fat, let your life be one of serving God. It will be worth it. Don’t let the devil, the world, the flesh lead you a merry, futile dance any longer. All it takes is the word of God, take hold of the word by faith, as Ehud took hold of his dagger and dealt with the problem once and for all. Ehud was able to take out the king, he didn’t just kill any Moabite, he got their king. And once the king is dealt with, the rest follows. What or who are your Eglons’? Deal with them with the word of God. Deal with issues God’s way. Trust his word, and his word alone. It may start seemingly alone, requiring courage and bravery that God will give you, but it finishes without fear near the fords of the flowing Jordan river, with God going before, with deliverance from the oppression of the Moabites of your life. Don’t let the harvests of your life be stolen any longer, don’t let the enemy fatten themselves at your expense any longer. Trust God. Trust the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Word of God. He is the source of the flowing water of life, that never runs out, that he gives fully and freely and forever. It is time to deal with king Eglon.