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In God's Ways
Bible Passage Judges 3:12-31
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book Judges.

In God’s Ways

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached April 17, 2023

SCRIPTURE 📖
12 The Israelis again practiced evil in full view of the LORD. So the LORD strengthened Eglon king of Moab in his control over Israel, because they had practiced evil in full view of the LORD.

13 Eglon assembled together the Ammonites and the Amalekites, proceeded to attack Israel, and captured the cities of palms.

14 So the Israelis served king Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

15 But when the Israelis cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up Gera’s son Ehud, a left-handed descendant of Benjamin, as a deliverer for them. The Israelis paid tribute through him to king Eglon of Moab.

16 Ehud forged a double-edged sword that was one cubit long, tied it to his right thigh under his cloak,

17 and went to present the tribute to King Eglon of Moab. Now Eglon happened to be a very obese man.

18 As he finished presenting the tribute, Ehud sent away the people who had been carrying it.

19 He had turned away from the idols that were at Gilgal. So he told Eglon, “I have a secret message for you, king.” King Eglon responded “Silence!” and all of his attendants left him.

20 Ehud approached him while he was sitting by himself in the cool roof chamber of his palace. He said, “I have a message from God for you!” So when Eglon got up from his seat,

21 Ehud used his left hand to take the sword from his right thigh and then plunged it into Eglon’s abdomen.

22 The hilt also penetrated along with the sword blade, and Eglon’s fat closed in over the blade. Because he did not withdraw the sword from Eglon’s abdomen, the sword point exited from Eglon’s entrails.

23 Then Ehud left the cool chamber in the direction of the vestibule, shutting and locking the doors behind him.

24 After he left, Eglon’s attendants came to look, but the doors to the cool chamber were locked! So they said, “He must be relieving himself in the inner part of the cool chamber.”

25 They waited until they were embarrassed, since he never opened the doors to the chamber. Eventually they took a key, opened the doors, and found their master dead on the ground.

26 Meanwhile, Ehud escaped while they were delayed, passed by the idols, and escaped in the direction of Seirah.

27 When he arrived there, he sounded a trumpet in the mountainous region of Ephraim. While the Israeli army accompanied Ehud from the mountainous regions,

28 he told them, “Attack them, because the LORD has given your enemies—the Moabites—into your control.” So the Israeli army followed after him, seized the fords of the Jordan River opposite Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross.

29 At that time they attacked about 10,000 Moabites, all of whom were strong and valiant men. Not one man escaped.

30 As a result, Moab was subdued under the control of Israel, and the land remained quiet for 80 years.

31 After Ehud, Anath’s son Shamgar attacked 600 Philistines with a cattle prod. He also delivered Israel.

 

BACKGROUND
The period of judges was a period that continued God’s relationship with and punishment of Israel.
The order of events in the life of each judge is as follows:

1. The people did evil things.
2. Their enemies caused pain and trouble them.
3. The people cried to the Lord to help them.
4. He sent a judge to make them free. He had given his Spirit to the judge.
5. Then there was peace, which continued for many years.

Aram (North of Palestine) had first invaded Israel. The Israelite leader who finally defeated him, Othniel, came from the tribe of Judah, which was in the south of Palestine (see Josh 15:13-19). It appears, therefore, that the enemy had overrun most of the land.

Because of the evil that the Israelites practiced, God allowed the forces of Moab, assisted by Ammon and Amalek to capture Israel. The Moabites were descendants of Lot. They crossed the Jordan and advanced as far as Jericho, the city of Palms to oppress Israel. From there they exercised control over the tribal area of Benjamin and possibly the border areas of Ephraim. They ruled for eighteen years.

Israel’s deliverer, Ehud, came from Benjamin. That was when they cried out to the Lord. When the time came for him to take Israel’s periodic tribute money to the Moabite king (probably at Jericho), he cunningly gained a private meeting with the king and assassinated him (verses 15-23).

The writer tells us everything about how Ehud killed the Moabite king. The king’s servants were slow to find King Eglon. They thought that he had gone to the toilet. Then they discovered what had happened. By then, Ehud had escaped.

Before the Moabites discovered what had happened, Ehud escaped and mobilized his soldiers (verses 24-27).

When the Moabites tried to flee back to Moab, they were cut off by the Israelites at the Jordan crossing, and mercilessly slaughtered (verse 28-30).

Another great leader who rescued the Israelites from an enemy was Shamgar. He won his victory over the Philistines, who lived on the Mediterranean coastal plain (verse 31).

LESSONS✍🏽
🔷 God can use anyone (anything) to bring victory or honour himself

🔷 Disobedience to God can cause our downfall

PRAYER POINTS🙏🏽
💥 Thank God for a beautiful week
💥 Ask God to teach you the road to victory

CONCLUSION📙
When we turn from our evil ways and cry out to our God, He will hear our cry and turn to us too.
AMEN

In series Bright Morning Reflections