Have you ever read the story of Ehud (Judges 3)? If not, I suggest you do. It’s an interesting account, to say the least. As you know, I have been preaching through the book of Judges, and last Sunday we covered the account of this very unlikely Savior. That’s what judges were—saviors. Don’t be confused by the name. They were in no way like today’s judges—men and women who sit on a bench litigating civil and criminal affairs (except, Deborah, 4:5). They were military leaders and deliverers. Their job was to save the people of God from their oppressors.
This is why Ehud is such an unlikely candidate; primarily, because he was a “left handed man” (V.15). This is not a bash against left handed people. In fact, what this means is Ehud was unable to use his right hand for some reason. More than likely he had some kind of disability or deformity that limited him significantly. So, you can see why Ehud doesn’t really fit the bill to save Israel. How’s he going to be some great military leader if he can’t even fight? But, as we’ll see, God used Ehud’s weakness as a great strength.
In preparation to meet the wicked King, Eglon, Ehud made a deadly dagger which he strapped to his right leg underneath His clothes (V.16). This was brilliant. Right away we’re seeing why Ehud’s weakness proved to be his strength. Most men were right-handed. Therefore, most men would have strapped their sword to their left leg. When Ehud went to present the tribute to the King, the guards most certainly searched him for weapons but found none because Ehud’s weapon was in an unlikely place. Not to mention, they would have not figured Ehud to be a threat since he had a clear disability.
Because of all this, after Ehud requested a private conversation, Eglon and the guards were willing to let Ehud alone with King—a mistake they would soon regret. After the doors closed, Ehud struck down the wicked ruler with his concealed weapon. After this, Ehud fled and called the Israelites into battle and they defeated the Moabites. Ehud’s courageousness and obedience to the Lord led to eighty years of rest and prosperity for the people of God, and the Lord received all the glory for their great victory.
As graphic as this story is, it contains some great principles. Here’s one: God uses our weaknesses to demonstrate His power. Ehud was an unlikely savior, as I said, but this is precisely why the Lord used him for the job. God usually doesn’t call the rich and powerful. He uses the weak and poor (see 1 Corinthians 1:26-30). He does this to show that He alone deserves the credit and glory when the victory is won.
This means that the weakness you have, God can use as strengths for His purposes. Have you felt like you are too old, too sick, too poor, or not smart enough for God to use you? If so, not only are you wrong, but God will use the very thing you think are weaknesses to demonstrate His power. Remember, God’s “power is made perfect in weakness” (2nd Corinthians 12:9). In fact, He delights, calling weak people like us to accomplish His will. Why? Because He receives all the praise. If God can work His power through people like us, He must be a very awesome God, a God worthy of our complete devotion and praise!