15 “But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin. The Israelites sent Ehud to deliver their tribute money to King Eglon of Moab. 16 So Ehud made a double-edged dagger that was about a foot long, and he strapped it to his right thigh, keeping it hidden under his clothing. 17 He brought the tribute money to Eglon, who was very fat.
18 After delivering the payment, Ehud started home with those who had helped carry the tribute. 19 But when Ehud reached the stone idols near Gilgal, he turned back. He came to Eglon and said, “I have a secret message for you.”
So the king commanded his servants, “Be quiet!” and he sent them all out of the room.
20 Ehud walked over to Eglon, who was sitting alone in a cool upstairs room. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you!” As King Eglon rose from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, pulled out the dagger strapped to his right thigh, and plunged it into the king’s belly. 22 The dagger went so deep that the handle disappeared beneath the king’s fat. So Ehud did not pull out the dagger, and the king’s bowels emptied. 23 Then Ehud closed and locked the doors of the room and escaped down the latrine.”
Judges 3:15-23, NLT
Moab had subjected Israel to a considerable tribute. Every Israelite was affected by this arrangement. Just imagine owing a debt that you couldn’t pay, and having to pay it anyway. The Bible (Judges 3:12–4:1) includes the story of Ehud, an Israelite judge who uses his ‘left-handedness’ in successfully assassinating an oppressive king. Moab’s dominance over Israel would last for 12 years prior to Ehud’s brave deed.
We have metal detectors in our airports. If you are carrying a weapon, the detector senses it and alerts the TSA people. You simply can’t carry a gun or a knife and pass through the security. You will be caught.
A Israelite by the name of Ehud manages to get into the King of Moab’s palace with a dagger. The king’s guards searched him as if he were a right-handed man. But Ehud is left-handed, and he manages to keep the dagger hidden. After the search he is allowed to enter the palace.
It is just a moment, and Ehud states that he is carrying a secret message for King Eglon. The king clears the room. Ehud and the king are now alone. It is then when Ehud draws his dagger strapped to his right leg. He then (rather grotesquely) stabs Eglon and escapes the palace.
Only 10% of the world’s population is left-handed. It is kind of rare, I suppose. Studies have shown that there is a greater incidence of left-handed mathematicians, musicians, architects, and artists. Historically, most regarded left-handedness as a weakness and a deficiency. There is a suggestion that being a lefty is unlucky or evil. There are some who even avoid contact with left handed people. (The Latin for “left” is “sinister.”).
Various Thoughts on This Passage:
1) God will always respond to the cry of His people for deliverance.
2) Our innate gifts are given to us to build God’s people.
3) Our so-called “weaknesses” will often be used to advance God’s kingdom.
4) Sometimes we will have to take a stand and do what no one else will do.
This account in Judges 3 should encourage and strengthen your faith. What others consider is weakness, is often what God uses to deliver His people. I suppose that this is the reason the Holy Spirit preserved this story of Ehud the Judge.
- Murder on the toilet (adrianmurdoch.typepad.com)
- Today’s The Day To Get Your Left-Handed Beauty On (bellasugar.com)
- Diatribe: Can A Lefty Get A Break On International Left-Handers Day? (diatribesandovations.com)
- August 13 is International Left-Handers Day (news.yahoo.com)