I can’t stop thinking about Ehud. It seems that, with every text I preach, I discover that there are probably seven other ways it could have been preached. Alas, the richness of God’s Word–it can never be fully comprehended or sufficiently proclaimed.
Regarding Ehud, there is another meaningful truth that can easily get lost in the delightfully disturbing narrative. Though Ehud pretended to be many things, though his ruse was full of creative acting, the one role he fulfilled free of any deception was that of a faithful mailman–he delivered Yahweh’s message. The message was not a secret password or tidbit of wisdom, it was a double-edged sword. Hebrews 4.12 tells us that the Word of God is a double-edged sword, able to cut men down to the heart, to kill them or clean them. In Revelation 1.16 we see that Jesus speaks with a two-edged sword coming out of his mouth. This is Revelation Jesus, not the once marginalized Gailean peasant Jesus, but the returning in all glory to redeem and condemn–to judge the living and the dead.
Ehud delivered the Word of God which, for Eglon, was a word of judgment, a word of death. For the Israelites, however, it was a word of redemption, a word of life. In other words, it is important to recognize that it was neither Ehud’s creative deception nor Eglon’s hefty stupidity that delivered Israel. It was the Word of God. The Word of God is what saves, what overcomes oppressors, what frees us all from our slavery to our sin.
Our job, therefore, is not to find the best ways to beat our enemies. Our job is to find as many ways as we can to deliver the Word of God to ourselves and to others–and let it do the work.