Ever notice that the Bible is like an action movie? There are some seriously amazing stories in the Bible. Judges is full of them. Some of these stories can really make people think, whether they believe the Bible is the Word of God or not.
Take Ehud. His story would make a really awesome action movie. It’s recounted in Judges 3:12ff. Here are the highlights:
The Israelites sin. The LORD punishes them by sending Eglon, King of Moab. Eglon gets some allies of his to come with him and they beat up Israel. The Israelites cry out for help, and the LORD sends help for them. Enter Ehud, the assassin. Ehud is left-handed, and the king’s body guards don’t discover his weapon (probably because they didn’t bother to search his right side–his sword would be on opposite hand to make it easier to draw). Ehud asks for a private audience and Eglon grants it. Ehud stabs Eglon so hard that it sinks all the way into the portly man’s flesh. Leaving his blade behind, Ehud escapes and rallies the troops, who unite around their new leader. He then strikes ten thousand Moabites down with his army, and none escape.
Yeah, it could make a pretty epic action movie. But what about a Bible story? How are we supposed to take this story in the context of Scripture? Note once more the beginning of the story: the Israelites did evil (Judges 3:12). Throughout Judges, we see the same pattern: the Israelites do evil, and God punishes them by oppressing them with one of the nations in the area. Then, the Israelites realize their evil, and they cry to God, repentant, and ask Him for help. He delivers them from their enemies, and there is peace in the land.
What can we take away from this story? Does it show another instance of evil in the Bible which Christians must hide? No, rather it shows the story that we can see woven throughout the Scriptures: a story of redemption and peace with God. Because of Jesus, we now live in an era in which we no longer have to wait for a deliverer, as Israel did. We’re told that all people have sinned and fall short (Romans 3:23), just as the Israelites did. And we all deserve punishment. But when we cry out to God, we know there is a redeemer close at hand. God forgives our sins because of Christ, and we can live in peace.
The cycle in Judges is repeated over and over. It reflects a time in which everyone did what they willed (Judges 21:25). God came to His people with the understanding they had. But in our time, we have Jesus who died once for all. The cycle is broken, and we may enjoy eternal peace.
This is part of a continuing series on “Awesome Person(s) of the Bible.” Other posts can be found here.
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