Judges Chapter 3:12-31


 The book of Judges is a book that Chronicles the failure of God’s people thru 12 cycles in their History Spanning 350 yrs / Slow Learners

A)Characteristics of those cycles – The Children of Israel would give themselves over to sin /


B)Then they would then become servants to an oppressor / after a time they would then cry out to God - / God would in turn Raise up a Deliverer

1) A Judge to lead the people out of Bondage –


C) They would walk w/ the Lord until that Judge died then – they would give themselves over to sin again & repeat the cycle all over again


We’ve noted that  there are two phrases that are repeated in this book that really describe this cycle that we see in the book of Judges

A)1st is seen many times And Israel did EVIL in the sight of the Lord


B) The 2nd is repeated twice – And everyone did what was right in their own eyes –


C) Now what is interesting is that both Phrases are being used to describe the same situation

1)    That which was right in the eyes of the People was that which was evil in the sight of the Lord


D) For that reason we noted that the Book of Judges is really a good case study in the Dangers of Relativism - 

                             The Dangers of the Fluctuating standards of man

1) The danger of moving away from the Standards found in God’s word concerning what He calls Good & Evil – do follow what seems right to us





Now at the end of our study last time we looked at the First Judge who’s name was Othniel – noted His name means God is might

A)The Lord used Othniel to rescue the people of Israel from the Cushan the king of Mesopotamia – whom they served for 8 yrs


B) 8 Yrs of Oppression before they cried out to God – When they finally did God raises up this man who’s name means – God is might


C) We noted that the Secret of his Strength & his success came from the phrase found in v.10 And the Spirit of the Lord was upon him

1)   Same word used of the Disciples in Acts Ch. 1:8 on the day of Pentecost the Spirit came upon them – Baptized in the Spirit


D) Peter goes from being a Denier to being an Evangelist – overnight


So too  One day Othniel is as Common as every other man among the nation of Israel

A)And the very next day he is changed into a completely different man and the difference is that the HS has come UPON HIM


B) Othniel’s life teaches us of the importance of being Baptized by the HS

And living w/ that continual dependency upon the HS

1) Where we are continually asking the Lord to empower us for the day that is ahead { Denise & I – morning before we go to bed } My kids school


So that was Othniel – tonight we move on to consider judge #2 & 3

Ehud & Shamgar  Rd v. 12

And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.


A)Here we are introduced to this man named EGLON- He holds the distinction of being the ONLY man in the Bible called           very fat

1)   He was HUGE- Some historians state that his waistline was 300 inches!!

                          He was one FAT oppressor

B) But in this story we are going to learn a lesson about how to deal      with those HUGE OPPRESSORS that come into your life

V 13 Then he gathered to himself the people of Ammon and Amalek, went and defeated Israel, and took possession of the City of Palms.


C) City of Palms = JERICHO

1)It was a place of lush fruit bearing trees/This made it appetizing for Eglon


14 So the children of Israel served Eglon king of Moab eighteen years.

A)So The cycle is set in motion again: Israel sins and is sold into servitude

        Sin always brings bondage; though it comes to us deceptively.


B)The fish never contemplates the bondage of the hook when it goes after the bait;

1) So too Satan snares us by making the bait attractive and hiding the hook


A news story told of a grease processing plant that opened up a 55-gallon drum of grease that came from a prison. Inside, they found a little bit of grease, and a dead prison inmate.


C) Apparently He tried to escape by hiding in the barrel, but his quest for freedom became a means of bondage and death for him.

1)Like wise we are deceived by sin, thinking that it can be a means of freedom for us. Instead, it only brings bondage and death


D) So Israel was in bondage again this time lasting 18yrs – 18 yrs they are Rough learners


V15 But when the children of Israel cried out to the LORD,

A)This was all God was waiting for – A PHONE CALL  - waiting for them to cry out !!!


the LORD raised up a deliverer for them: Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. By him the children of Israel sent tribute to Eglon king of Moab.

B) Now why this attention to detail – him being a left handed man – is that so we would no where to sit him at dinner ?

1)   No there is a reason for this


C) See being left handed in that culture was unusual – ( used to be here ) My dad is left handed – tried to change him

1)   I started out left handed – they did change me


D) Some in Bible days even considered being left handed to be a curse !

1)   It was definitely considered to be a HANDICAP


So God raises up a deliverer who was different – being left handed – Yet God is going to use that which was different about Ehud to Deliver

16 Now Ehud made himself a dagger (it was double-edged and a cubit in length- (18 inches  ) fastened it under his clothes on his right thigh.


A) Here we see the importance of his being left handed / Ehud was definitely a man of cunning and courage; he is the "James Bond" of the judges

1)   See Only a left handed man would fasten his sword to his right thigh


B) A right handed man would put the sword on this left thigh

1) when you went into the presence of  king they had security measures much like today- FRISK PEOPLE


C) But frisking only took place on the LEFT side because most men being RIGHT handed would draw across their LEFT side for their weapon

1) So Ehud being LEFT handed hid his sword on his RIGHT side


D) So Ehud is going to be able to get the sword where it needs to get because he is a left handed man

It is going to be his Peculiarity that God is going to use for his own Purpose


E) All those years he may have wondered or was confused why he was left handed - But at that moment it was clear

1)   The apparent CURSE of left-handedness was a BLESSING

So often we look at our own lives and we place great limitations upon ourselves because we think we are different – ( Left handed men)

A)Not smart / not gifted / too old / etc – Don’t fit in – Can’t be used in ministering to this person or that person


B) NOTE: God NEVER makes mistakes- You are the way that you are

1)With your personality... or lack of it

 2) With your intelligence.... or lack of it

   3) With your looks.... or lack of them


Ps 139:14-16

14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.


C) Maybe you have wondered: "Lord, why am I the way that I am?"

    Maybe you've asked God: "Lord, can't you change me?"

1)   You are the way that you are for a reason – God wants to use your perceived limitations to illustrate His Strength


D) Consider Billy Graham – You know which night had the biggest crowd and the most Decisions – Sat – Youth night


C) Terry Long in Salt Lake City – Most Conservative place – most radical guy – Long haired Tattooed Biker Drug dealer -



Listen we can look at so many things that we think are limitations in our lives & we fail to realize that they are there by design

A)There is a uniqueness upon your life that is Necessary – A uniqueness that is going to play out in God’s Plan

B) Trying to have Kids and you can’t – Purpose

1) Background – has a purpose    - Part of the reason that you have been apprehended by God – One day it will become clear


C) So many things from my past – things I went thru growing up that I see that God is using now !!!!


D) So here we see that God is going to use that which was different about Ehud for his Purpose !!!!              RD V.17-25



Now this Story not only teaches us about How God will use that which is different about us for his purpose – But it is also an illustration of the effectiveness of the word


Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


A)Now in the original Greek language there are a couple of words used for sword – one speaks of a large sword – 3 Musketeers


B)But the word used there in Heb 4:12 – Dagger – used in close contact

1) The Sword that Ehud used on Eglon was a small sword – Dagger type


C)Ehud takes this double edged Dagger -  he hides it under his clothes

And at the right moment – thrust it in – Result is the Dirt comes out


That is a great picture of What happens to us when we come to the word with an open heart – Word goes in & the Dirt comes out

A)The sword of the spirit going into my heart – going into the core of my being and when it does it is always at the expense of some dirt in my life


B) God uses his word to deal with our Flesh


C) THAT is why what we are doing here is so important

1) We are NOT involved in some academic endeavor


D)We are NOT merely attempting to go through the Bible

             We want the Word to go through us

1)  When the Word goes in, the dirt comes out- transformation


There is a CLEANSING process as you give yourself to the SINCERE application of the Word

A)QUESTION: Well then, why aren't YOU perfect... Why isn't my              husband perfect after all of this time in Bible study


B) Listen - IF the Word wasn't in him you can't begin to    understand how wretched he would be-  THAT is the truth


C) INSTEAD of looking at each other and asking: "Why aren't you better than you are? ",

1)We should be thanking God for what influence the Word has had us.


D) I would hate to think of what I would be without the Word   of God going through me

1) Day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, decade by decade, I am being changed - The Word goes in, and the dirt comes out


2 Tim 3:16-17  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.


E)They are profitable for doctrine (what is right), for reproof (what is not right), for correction (how to get right), and for instruction in righteousness (how to stay right).


D)A Christian who studies the Bible and applies what he learns will grow in holiness and avoid many pitfalls in this world.


Ro 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind

A)My mind is renewed and my life is Changed by the word of God


B) So we see here a Beautiful picture as it relates to the word – the word goes into  us – and the DIRT COMES OUT OF US 

1) The Father thru the HS uses the word like a scalpel – to do surgery on us

                                         V. 26-30 


C) So Ehud teaches us – that God can use our Differences for his purpose and also to be a deliverer in the hands of the Lord it is important that God’s word has it’s rightful place in our Lives


In V. 31 We are given a brief snapshot of the 3rd Deliverer : Shamgar

After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad; and he also delivered Israel.

A)An ox goad was a wooden stick that had a pointing end – sometimes even a brass tip – used by farmers – get the oxen going in right direction


B) Now in Shamgar we see  a guy who is willing to be used by God even if all he has is the roughest weapon .

1)   There are a lot of people in the body of Christ who are just one thing away from being willing to be used by God


C) They have an Ox goad in their hands / they have the spirit of God in them and Upon them but they say : If I just had a sword then God could use me!!!

1)   If only I could sing like ……… God could use me !! If only I had could play …../ More time …../ Go to Bible College


D) Their always one thing away from allowing God to use their lives

1)   Their unwilling to go out with the most basic of weapons – Their always complaining about their  inadequacies


E)  Yet a man with an Ox goad in his hands & the Spirit of God upon his life is infinitely more powerful than a man with a Bazooka & no spirit upon him

Listen the simplicity of what you have doesn’t matter – You might have the simplest of things –

A)But All that means is that God gets the greater glory for having done what he has done for you & thru you !!!!


B) SO Shamgar used that which was in his hands to serve the Lord

1)   What is it that is in your hand that can be used to serve the Lord?


C) So we see that These judges that were used by God to be the HEROES of Israel were EXTRORDINARILY ORDINARY

1)   Available and God used the ordinary to do the Extraordinary


SO In these first three judges we notice THREE things needed to be affective for the Lord


          1.) OTHNIEL - The power of the Spirit


          2.) EHUD - The power of the Sword


          3.) SHAMGAR - The power of Service{ Using what you have



The Spirit of God UPON you..... The Sword of the Spirit IN you....               Service for the Lord as a part of you


These things will bring FRUITULNESS in you life