Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Weird, Wild, and Wacky Stories of the Old Testament: Ehud

I don't know about you, but I love the Old Testament. There are so many crazy, unbelievable stories about people who have followed God and people who have rejected God. If you knew nothing about God but read the Old Testament, it would probably sound like a really lame sci-fi/horror book. Just look at some of the really insane stories! The whole earth flooded and the human race survived only because they built a huge boat and lived on it for a couple months while the world was underwater. When a woman disobeys an angel of God, she turned into a pillar of salt. A group of thousands of people walk through a parted sea. A young man killed a giant with a single stone. A donkey talks to and rebukes a physically abusive rider. A man ran faster than a chariot. And there's so much more!

I want to do a series about some of my favorite stories in the Old Testament. These stories are weird, wild, and wacky. Some of them are almost too unbelievable to be true, and yet they happened. Today, let's look at the story of Ehud, found in Judges 3:12-30.

Here's the situation. Israel sinned, so God gave them over to Eglon, king of Moab. But the Israelites cried out to God, so "...He gave them a deliverer - Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite" (J. 3:15). So they send Ehud to king Eglon to pay him tribute. Now Ehud was super cool. First of all, he was left-handed. And second, he had a double-edged sword about a foot and a half long that he strapped to his right thigh under his clothes. So Ehud goes and presents his tribute to king Eglon. Now the writer of Judges notes that Eglon is very fat. From the rest of the passage, I get the idea that Eglon was the stereotypical fat, lazy, selfish king. Anyway, after Ehud presented his tribute, he told king Eglon that he had a secret message for him. The king is very intrigued so he sends everyone out of the room except for himself and Ehud. Ehud approaches the king, who is sitting (very fat) on his throne. As he draws near, Ehud says, "I have a message from God for you." Here's the weird, wild, and wacky part. (Cue the dramatic music and slow-motion cameras.) When Ehud was near the king, the king stood up and "Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword out from his right thigh and plunged it into the king's belly. Even the handle sank in after the blade, which came out his back. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it." How insane is that! This dude was so fat that his belly swallowed up Ehud's sword!

So Eglon is dead and Ehud has to escape, which he does without a problem. This next part is quite hilarious and just makes Eglon look even dumber. "After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, 'He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the house.' They waited to the point of embarrassment, but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead." So while Eglon's servants were thinking he was on the john, his assassin escaped. Apparently, Eglon usually took a long time in the bathroom...

To make things worse for Moab, now a kingless country, Ehud got the Israelites together and they went down and massacred the Moabites. It says they struck down about ten thousand of them. I don't know about you, but I'd say God did a good job of delivering the Israelites!

The Moabites were defeated and became subjected to Israel. Their king was disgracefully murdered. Their servants didn't help because they thought he was relieving himself. And then they lost ten thousand men. Epic fail, Moab.


Abby B. said...

Ok, i love this story! My friend talks about it all the time and it's still funny every time. It was really cool to hear someone else's commentary on it though. Really fun post!

Anonymous said...

Love this post. :) I absolutely LOVE the Old Testament!! Definitely can't wait for the rest of the series!

Anonymous said...

Bread in Ezekiel 4.