After delivering the payment, Ehud started home with those who had helped carry the tribute. But when Ehud reached the stone idols near Gilgal, he turned back. (Judges 2:18-19)
Relate: This is in my opinion one of the most underrated stories in all the Bible. I could probably count the number of times on one hand I have heard someone preach a message on Ehud. Just about every time I can get a group of junior high boys together, I tell this story and they just love it. Think about it. Ehud is selected is to be part of a group of Israelites who are to bring the tribute to the wicked, fat king. They drop that tribute off and are returning home when Ehud stops. The others push on but he says to himself, “Enough is enough.” He returns to confront the king and the guards don’t notice the dagger strapped to his thigh when they do their pat down. Their boss is fat and they’re lazy. Ehud comes in and tells the king, “I’ve got a secret and I cannot keep it.” The king sends his guards away, Ehud pulls out his dagger and sticks him. I’d like to imagine the king tried to run, or waddle, away but he just wasn’t in shape enough to escape. Of course his was a big enough shape to just swallow that blade whole. Ehud couldn’t find it among all the bleeding fat rolls and had to give it up for lost. Then he goes on the most foul smelling slip and slide ride in the history of mankind. You might think he went feet first but I prefer to picture him diving down that latrine with all the panache of Han Solo jumping into the trash compactor.
I am always shocked when I tell this story to a group of boys many who have grown up in the church and they don’t already know it by heart. Kids ministry workers, what are you thinking. You’re sitting on a gold mine here. No matter how boring of a story teller you might consider yourself, this story sells itself. Just once step away from the prepackaged junk that keeps repeating the same twenty stories over and over and give the kids something from the Bible they can’t wait to share with their friends.
React: OK. I am off my soapbox and back to the story at hand. What made Ehud stop and turn around? I can’t read through this story and not speculate. I mean, he wasn’t sent as an assassin to stir things up. Quite the opposite. He was a bureaucratic lackey with tribute to keep the peace. He had already done so when he changed his mind and decided to risk his life for his people’s freedom. Why? What brought this turnabout?
On a more relevant level, what will it take to bring about such a change in heart for me today? What will it take to get me to stop and turn around and fight for my, or my people’s spiritual freedom? How bad do things have to get before I, before we will say, “Enough is enough”?