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Discovery Magazine 12/1/2004

Ehud and a Fat King

by  Hope Estabrook

The story of Ehud is told in Judges 3:12-30. In this passage, we learn about a brave man and a forgiving God. The Israelites had again turned away from God, and God allowed them to be captured by the Moabite king, Eglon, who was helped by the Amelakites and Ammonites. After eighteen years of slavery, Israel cried out to God for help.

One theme that is repeated throughout the Old Testament, especially in the book of Judges, is that our God is a forgiving God. The Israelites had turned away from God many times and worshipped other gods. But when they were truly repentant and needed God, He would always help them. This teaches us that no matter how many bad things we do, if we repent and obey God, He will forgive us. This is just one of God’s many great attributes.

On this occasion in Judges chapter 3, God sent Ehud, a Benjamite, to deliver Israel. Ehud, on behalf of his people, took tribute (taxes) to Eglon, the king of the Moabites, who was a very fat king. After presenting the tribute, Ehud said that he had a secret message to give the king. King Eglon ordered everyone to leave so that Ehud could tell him the secret message. When Ehud and the king were alone, Ehud told him that he had a message from God. Then Ehud stabbed the king with a double-edged dagger. The dagger went into King Eglon’s belly and was completely covered by his fat. His servants later found him dead on the floor. Ehud escaped and returned to his people to lead them to victory against the Moabites.

As you can see, Ehud was a very courageous man. He was not afraid, nor was he intimidated by the enemy’s king. One reason for this was his faith in God. He believed that God would take care of Him, and he knew that God had chosen him to save Israel.

Ehud could not have done this without God. We should always pray for God to be with us and give us courage. Even though we may not have the same obstacles as Ehud, we need God’s help to live righteously every day.

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