Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Beatles, the Bible, and Discharging Bowels

There are a lot of great stories in the Bible (and a couple really creepy ones--let's be honest), but one of my all time favorites is found in the book of Judges, chapter 3 to be precise. It's the story of Ehud, and if you're having trouble pronouncing that correctly, just sing this with me to the tune of "Hey, Jude":

Eh, Hude...
Don't be so shy,
Take your left hand
And go and stab that guy...

I realize it's not precise, but you get the picture. Also, there is no "y" sound at the end of the "eh". Just so you can rest assured that you are saying it perfectly. I don't want it to keep you up at night.

At any rate, here's the story. Succinctly, and if you want the longer version, you know where to find it (Judges 3!). Israel rebelled against God. God delivered them over to the Moabites. Israel repents and cries out for mercy. God sends Ehud, whose defining characteristic is that he is left handed.

Ehud, strapping his sword on his right side, goes to deliver Israel's tribute to the king of Moab, a morbidly obese man named Eglon. Ehud tells Eglon that he has a secret message for him (sneaky, right?), and when Eglon sends all of his attendants out of the room, Ehud whips out his hidden sword and stabs him in the gut. He stabs him so deeply that his sword disappears into Eglon's fat and Eglon expires after literally pooping his pants. Ehud then escapes out the window while Eglon's thoughtful attendants wait outside the room for an embarrassingly long time, assuming that Eglon is busy using a chamber pot. Ehud then rallies the Israelites, and they soundly defeat the Moabites leading to an 80 year peace.

Now, you could say that this is my favorite Bible story (one of my favorites...) because I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy, and that would be at least partially correct. But the other reason is that I love how it shows that our perceived weaknesses or oddities (in Ehud's case, being left handed--which isn't a big deal now but probably was then) are often what God uses to advance his purposes.

Ehud is a very colorful, very vivid example of how God uses the things that we think make us "less" to change the world. It is rarely our strengths that come into play because then pride is a very small step away. Instead, God uses the weak, the ugly, and the frowned upon to bring about beauty.

If only we could be brave enough, vulnerable enough, to put our weaknesses to good use for His purposes...

The one on the far right would've made a great Ehud.
He could've hidden the sword in his hair, though, instead of strapping it to his thigh.
This was pre-haircut.
Sadly, the Man never approved Ehud from our name list.
It was not for lack of trying on my part.


  1. So, next time I'm called upon to produce a devotion at PWOC, I'll just read this. Of course, I will include props.

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  3. I love it! Thank you!

  4. We have discussed this story many times. It is a classic. Love the photo at the end!