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Ehud, the left-handed assassin

Judges 3:12-30
Ehud plans to assassinate the Moabite King Eglon who is oppressing the Jews.
Contributed by Richard Gunther
1
About 3,000 years ago the people of Israel lived in the Promised Land God had given them. – Slide 1
2
But as they had been so disobedient, God allowed them to be ruled by a nation called the Moabites and their very overweight king, Eglon. – Slide 2
3
The Moabites did not treat the Israelites well. – Slide 3
4
They had an army of bullies who made the Israelites hand over their crops and anything else the Moabites wanted. King Eglon also had the help of the armies of the Ammonites and the Amalekites to keep the Jews under his control. – Slide 4
5
They beat the Israelite army and took the city of Jericho, known as the city of palms. – Slide 5
6
For 18 long years, King Eglon ruled with a rod of iron and made the Jews pay crushing taxes. – Slide 6
7
The poor Israelites had had enough of his oppressive rule and some of them called out to God in repentance and asked him to deliver them from the cruel Moabites. – Slide 7
8
God decided to raise up a man to rescue the Israelites and the man he chose was Ehud, who was left-handed. Ehud set to work making himself a metal sword. – Slide 8
9
It was a double-edged dagger eighteen inches (50cm) long and hid it in his clothing, strapped against his right thigh. – Slide 9
10
It was time for the Jews to send the very overweight King Eglon their taxes in crops, money and possessions. – Slide 10
11
Ehud joined those transporting the taxes to the Moabite King. – Slide 11
12
After delivering the money to King Eglon he started home again. But outside the city, at the quarries of Gilgal, he sent his companions on and returned alone to the king. – Slide 12
13
‘I have a secret message for you,’ he told King Eglon. – Slide 13
14
The king immediately dismissed all those who were with him so that he could have a private interview with Ehud. – Slide 14
15
King Eglon decided to take Ehud into his cool upstairs room at the palace where no-one could overhear the secret he was about to be told. – Slide 15
16
King Eglon then stood up and eagerly asked, ‘So what is this secret?’ – Slide 16
17
Ehud reached beneath his robe with his strong left hand, pulled out the double-bladed dagger strapped against his right thigh, and plunged it deep into the king’s belly. The hilt of the dagger disappeared beneath the flesh, and the fat closed over it as the entrails oozed out. – Slide 17
18
Leaving the dagger there, Ehud locked the doors behind him and escaped across an upstairs porch. – Slide 18
19
He then calmly walked out of the palace, out of the city and headed towards home. – Slide 19
20
When the king’s servants returned and saw that the doors were locked, they waited, thinking that perhaps King Eglon was using the bathroom. – Slide 20
21
But when, after a long time, he still didn’t come out, they became concerned and got a key. – Slide 21
22
And when they opened the door, they found their master dead on the floor. – Slide 22
23
Meanwhile Ehud had escaped past the quarries to Seirah. – Slide 23
24
When he arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, he blew a trumpet as a call to arms and mustered an army under his own command. – Slide 24
25
The Israelite army began to gather. – Slide 25
26
‘Follow me,’ he told them. – Slide 26
27
‘The Lord has put your enemies, the Moabites, at your mercy!’ – Slide 27
28
Ehud led the army towards Moab. – Slide 28
29
They seized the fords of the Jordan River near Moab, preventing anyone from crossing. – Slide 29
30
Then they attacked the Moabites and killed about ten thousand of the strongest and most skillful of their fighting men. – Slide 30
31
No-one escaped. Ehud the left-handed assassin, with God’s help, had led the repentant Israelites to victory. They had their freedom and no more crippling taxes to pay. – Slide 31
32
So Moab was conquered by Israel that day, and the land was at peace for the next eighty years. The lesson God wanted to teach the Israelites was that if they wanted to keep their freedom they had to trust and obey Him. – Slide 32
33
Slide 33