Daily Thought for: 14th March

EHUD: AN UNCOMPROMISING LEADER

Judges 3. 7-30 

There is a recurring pattern in Judges, 2. 16-19. (1) The people forsake the Lord, e.g. 2. 12; 3. 12; (2) the Lord chastens them, 2. 14; 3. 12; (3) they cry to Him, 3. 15; (4) He sends a deliverer, 3. 15. The people are guilty of idolatry, ingratitude, and stubbornness; there is failure through compromise and they are in a state of weakness. Nevertheless, God is longsuffering and ready to assist them. He does so by using weak things, and weak people; for example, an ox-goad, Barak, Samson. 

Ehud’s weakness is his ‘left-handedness’; literally ‘shut of his right hand’, which could mean his right hand malfunctioned. It is also a particularly noticeable feature occurring in a Benjamite, Benjamin meaning ‘son of my right hand’. 

Ehud exhibits uncompromising resolution. He has prepared thoroughly. He has the responsibility of taking a present to the Moabite ruler who has subdued Israel: this in fact was ‘tribute’ money, indicative of servitude, v. 15. It was a demeaning act, clearly accepted by many of God’s people, but not by Ehud, v. 16. Note the following. (1) He has a double-edged dagger that he has made specially, v. 16; (2) His plan takes account of his infirmity, using it to advantage, v. 21; (3) He sticks the dagger into Eglon with force, v. 22; (4) his route of escape is precisely marked out in his mind, v. 26; (5) his actions after killing Eglon have been well thought-out and are calculated to maximize its effect, vv. 27-29 (e.g. they seized the fords); (6) he leads the Israelites himself, v. 28; (7) he is confident of victory through faith in God, v. 28. All this shows determined leadership. As with Gideon, positive example is vital in leadership. Ehud’s ‘Follow after me’, v. 28, parallels Gideon’s ‘As I do, so shall ye do’, 7. 17. 

New Testament teaching is exemplified by Old Testament narrative; in the two-edged sword we see the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, Heb. 4. 12; Eph. 6. 17. Ehud knew its length, its capabilities, and had made it his own, vv. 16, 22; have we? So Timothy is exhorted, ‘rightly handling and skilfully teaching the word’, 2 Tim 2. 15 Amplified

 

Daily Thoughts