Intro: The nation of Israel behaved in a predictable manner for the entire 400 years covered in the book of Judges. They would faithfully serve God while adhering to their judges' strong leadership. They would disobey God and begin to live in disobedience to His Law, giving themselves over to the worship of the Canaanite pagans when a judge passed away. By allowing Israel to be oppressed by their enemies, He would send His judgment upon them if they disobeyed the Lord. God would raise a deliverer when Israel would repent of their sins over time. This individual would be used by God to liberate Israel and defeat its foes.
That is precisely the pattern that the verses before us today demonstrate. Israel disobeyed God, and the Lord made Eglon, the Moabite king, powerful. Together with the Ammonites and the Amalekites, Eglon invaded Israel and oppressed it for 18 years. God sent a man named Ehud to rescue them after they confessed their sins. Eglon was killed by Ehud, who then led Israel to victory and freedom. We can learn a lot from this story if we let it. We frequently follow the same pattern of disobedience, retribution, and punishment as Israel. The Moabites, Ammonites, and Amalekites are not our problem. The flesh is our issue. We will discover as this text progresses that Israel's foes are clearly analogous to our own adversary. The perfect representation of flesh is Eglon. He is out of his mind. He indulges himself. He is wicked, lazy, and fat. He is extremely proud. Ehud is also responsible for his death. I see a picture of the battle we are supposed to fight every day in Israel's defeat of Eglon. Every person has issues with their flesh. When we fight the flesh, we sometimes prevail; Our battles with the flesh sometimes end in defeat; Sometimes we don't fight our fleshly cravings at all. Every day, we literally fight for our very spiritual lives. Every time we enter the arena, we must win this battle. The assistance we require to wage war on the flesh is provided for us in this passage. I want to preach about Israel and Ehud's struggle against Eglon. You, too, can see that they prevailed in their struggle against oppressors. You do not have to submit to the desires of your flesh. Sin can be broken free of you. If you choose to fight the battle in God's way, you can triumph. My sermon topic is "How Lefty Killed Hefty." We will be given the tools we need to fight and win the daily battle we face with the flesh as we consider the truths presented in this passage. I'd like to highlight Israel's dilemma: Israel's Saviour; and Israel's Resurrection. As I preach about How Lefty Killed Hefty, let's pay attention to these facts. I. verses 12–14 are titled "ISRAEL'S DILEMMA" (Ill.). These verses talk about the terrible oppression that Israel went through as a result of her rebellion against the Lord. All those who want to leave the God who saved them should be wary of their problems. Let's examine these verses and gain knowledge from them.) A. v. 12-13a Their Enemies: Israel was confronted by three nations for their disobedience to God. They were confronted by the Moabites, Ammonites, and Amalekites. Israel faced constant difficulties from all three of these nations, and all three of them had a blood connection to Israel. Esau, Jacob's twin brother, was the ancestor of the Amalekites. Lot, Abraham's nephew, was a descendant of the Moabites and Ammonites. After Lot and his daughters were saved from Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot's daughter got him drunk, had sex with their father, and gave birth to Moab and Ammon, the two nations from which these two nations came. False gods were worshipped by all three of these nations. Chemosh was the god that the Moabites worshiped. Moloch was the god of the Ammonites. Child sacrifice and other vile sexual practices were used to worship these two gods. The Amalekites were a people who worshipped a variety of pagan gods and lived a nomadic, warlike lifestyle. Israel endured constant difficulties from all three of these nations. They were constantly attempting to attack, impede, and enslave Israel's people. (Ill.) These three nations represent our previous, fleshly selves. Moab is a symbol of flesh's power. Ammon is a representation of the lust of the flesh. Amalek is a symbol of flesh's enduring power. The believer is constantly attacked by the flesh, just as these nations repeatedly attacked Israel. Our bodies have their own desires. The path of righteousness and holiness do not appeal to it. The way of evil and Satan is preferred by the flesh, Eph. 2:1-3; John 8:44. In the name of Jesus Christ, the flesh that you and I carry will do everything in its power to enslave us and prevent us from achieving our full potential. Your flesh despises God and everything he represents, so don't be deceived. The Word of God will never be accepted by your flesh. It must be subjugated with a strong show of force. Ill. The enemy was described by Paul in Romans as follows: 7:14-25.) B. v. 13b Their Wars: These three nations came together to fight Israel. They "smote Israel," according to us. "to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, and kill" is the meaning of the word "smote." There was no friendly picnic hosted by these pagan armies; They came to annihilate Israel. Israel was fighting for its very survival. (Ill.) The battle we face each day is just as significant! Every day we live, we are fighting for our very spiritual lives. Gal. is where Paul tells us about this battle. 5:16-18. Each of us fights in a different area, but if you are saved, you fight every day of your life. There are times when you prevail; You sometimes lose battles. Which is decided by who we surrender to during battle, Rom. 6:16. We become slaves to righteousness if we submit to God. We become slaves to sin if we give in to it. We are fighting! The Christian life is a battlefield, not a playground. Every day, we must put on all of God's armor to prepare for battle, Eph. 6:10-18; by reading the Bible, praying, and taking a stand against sin in all its forms! It's not easy, but it's His instruction for us!) C. v. 13c Their Mistakes: Eglon set up shop in "the city of palm trees" as his headquarters. Deut refers to the city of Jericho under this alternative name. 34:3. Josh, Israel conquered Jericho as soon as they entered the Promised Land. 6. Jericho was a symbol of every victory that God would grant them in the future. It must have been hard for Israel to swallow to see their oppressors establish their headquarters in the very spot where they once enjoyed great military and spiritual victory. (Ill. The flesh has such power! The flesh appears just when you think you have won a battle in one area of your life and that the issue with that sin is resolved for good. It will do everything in its power to overturn your victories and regain ground. The flesh never lets up. Sadly, our inner spiritual desire does not. When we let our guard down, we lose the battle. We don't pray. We do not read the Bible. We are unable to avoid being around things that tempt us. We are unable to resist the flesh. We do not accomplish what Paul claimed to have done: "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection:" in order to avoid becoming a fugitive myself when I preach to others, "1 Cor. 9:27. "To beat black and blue" is the meaning of the phrase "keep under." We must restore the flesh to its original position whenever it rises. For the glory of God, beat, punch, assault, and make it adhere to the line! It is difficult, however assuming that we neglect to make it happen, we will lose the fight like clockwork!) D. v. 14: Their Foolishness: Israel became Eglon's servants because they failed to live their daily lives in accordance with God's will. To work, the word "served" means to work; to be subservient to Israel had been saved and was now to serve Jehovah God. They have now become the servants of pagan kings as a result of their sins. For 18 years, this condition existed! (Ill.) Once more, this demonstrates the strength of the flesh. We could be enslaved by it and turn away from the Lord. It has the ability to make us work for the world and the devil as well as enslave us. It can force us to work for ourselves every day while we ignore God's will for our lives. God did not save us for this. He did not save us so that we could continue to be sin's slaves. To set us free, he saved us. He saved for Him alone and to serve Him! However, if you let the flesh rule your life, you will become its slave. It will force you to fall into its trap and keep you there, sucking the spiritual life out of you completely. I am, without a shadow of a doubt, conversing with some people right now who are nothing more than a spiritual shell of your former self. Your prayer life, devotional life, church life, and service and devotional life to God have all deteriorated. You've seen the places you used to celebrate victories become homes for the flesh. When the Lord saved your soul, you see yourself living a life you could never have imagined. I want you to know that you are not obligated to remain in that state. You can and will be freed by the Lord.) I. Israel's Challenge II v. 15-26: ISRAEL'S DELIVERER (Ill.) Israel ended up there. Israel cried out to the Lord when she had had enough of being used as a slave, and He got to work bringing her back to Himself. Repentance is the first step in restoration! Let's learn more about Israel's savior, Ehud.) A. v. 15a His Issue: Ehud belonged to the Benjaminic tribe. The vicinity of Jericho was included in Benjamin's allotment of land. As a result, they would have been most affected by Eglon's rule. Benjamin's men and Ehud had numerous justifications for wanting Eglon and his armies eliminated. Additionally, it is stated that Eglon was "a man lefthanded." Judges 20:16 suggests that a significant number of men from the Benjaminian tribe were left-handed. 1 Chronicle reveals that many Benjaminites were also ambidextrous. 12:2. The Bible does not simply state that he used his left hand when it says that he was "a man lefthanded." He was "bound in the right hand" in its literal sense. To put it another way, Ehud had a disability on his right side. Because his right hand didn't work, he had to use his left hand. A potential deliverer would likely consider this to be a disadvantage. Ehud probably would not have been on the first ballot if the people had voted for a delivery person. As we will see, Ehud turned something that many would have considered a liability into an asset. (Ill. I'll just say what everybody already knows. We all face challenges! Moses couldn't speak. David was just a kid. The early church detested Paul. Every one of us has a problem that, in our minds, prevents us from being all that the Lord wants us to be. I do have a question for you, though: When He saved you, did God not know about your problems? He did, of course, but He still saved you. He didn't save you to make you worry about what you couldn't do; You were saved so that you could do what only He can do. We must stop making excuses for not being able to do this or that and get busy serving Him! Ill. A few of our reasons! None of them alter the fact that He instilled His Spirit within us when He saved us, 1 Cor. 12:13, and He gave us the opportunity to serve Him, 1 Cor. 12:7. Do something for Jesus instead of making excuses! B. v. 15b–19 His Plan: The Israelites were occasionally required to pay tribute to Eglon. As a result, they sent Eglon their gift with a delegation led by Ehud. Ehud decided to make a 14-inch-long double-edged dagger for himself. Under his cloak, he fastened this dagger to his right thigh and set out to deliver the money for the tribute to the king. His strategy is to capture Eglon on his own and kill the king when he does. It was a bold strategy! That dagger would have killed Ehud right away if he had been caught with it. However, he was disabled! What is his plan of action? Instead of concealing a sword beneath his clothing on his right thigh, the guards would have expected to see it slung to his left side. They probably didn't even look at him because they didn't have to worry about a disabled man. (Ill. Also, your flesh knows you're disabled. The flesh knows that you won't be able to defeat it on your own. Your flesh perceives you as weak. The flesh believes it can direct your life and control you. The body is correct! However, the flesh overlooks a crucial fact. The believer's God-given spirit is overlooked by the flesh. The flesh overlooks the fact that our Lord has promised, "My grace is sufficient for thee:" for in weakness my strength is made perfect,” 2 Cor. 12:9. Phil: "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me" is something the flesh overlooks. 4:13. According to John 4:4, "...greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.", the flesh forgets this. The fact that I have been saved and do not need to sin is lost on the flesh. The flesh does not realize that I am free from its power and can triumph for God's glory! The delegation then left after handing Eglon the cash. Ehud returned to Eglon with a secret message for him after they had traveled a short distance. Ehud is instructed to remain silent until they are alone by the king, who is assuming that he is about to learn a significant secret. Eglon fires all of his employees. C. verses 20 to 26: His Performance: When Ehud gets Eglon alone, he tells the king that God has sent him a message. Eglon rises to hear this message because a word from God must be honored even by a king! Ehud pulls the dagger from under his cloak, inserts it into Eglon's body, and kills him. Ehud is unable to retrieve the dagger because the fat closes around the handle as the blade penetrates the king's body so deeply. It has no bearing because Eglon has passed away. He makes his escape after Ehud locks the doors to the room on the roof where they are. The phrase "covereth his feet" in verse 24 refers to the king's bathroom because Eglon's servants discover the doors are locked and believe the king is there. This is disgusting, but the phrase "the dirt came out" in verse 22 indicates that Eglon's bowels emptied upon his death. The stench from the chamber and the locked door give the impression to the servants that the king is actually sitting on the throne. Verse 25: They wait until they are actually embarrassed. After that, they go into the chamber with a key and discover the king dead on the floor. By this point, Ehud has since left. (Ill. I understand that some of that was probably more information than you wanted in a Sunday sermon, but despite being disgusting, those particulars clearly demonstrate the nature of the struggle we face each day. We will need to engage in combat with this flesh if we are to claim victory over it. We will need to get very close to it and hit it hard enough to kill it. Dirty work is going to be involved. Although it is not for the faint of heart, it is the only way to celebrate victory. Mark 9:43–48 contains this description from Jesus. There isn't a huge step. There is no excessive price. To see the flesh defeated, we must take whatever steps are necessary. We will serve it as long as we live if we don't! I. Israel's Problem II. The Third Deliverer of Israel. v. 27-30 ISRAEL'S DELIVERANCE A. v. 27-28a It Included: Ehud sounded a ram's horn when he returned from killing Eglon. In Israel, trumpets were sounded for a variety of reasons. They were blown to announce an achievement. They were blown to indicate a shift in location. Actually, the Rapture!) They were extinguished out of joy and praise for the Lord. They were blown up to encourage people to go to war. This is the point of this. Israel's prayers had been heard by God, and a deliverer had appeared. Ehud had begun the process of granting them victory over their adversaries. They needed to destroy the serpent's body because he had severed its head. They were now put to the test to see if they would follow the man of God. They did so, and they won a big victory. B. v. 28b-29a There Was Fighting: Israel cut off the escape routes and entry points for reinforcements. After that, about 10,000 men were killed. They were "lusty" of the men they killed. This suggests that they were "robust men." They were "men of courage." This indicates that they were strong men physically. Israel prevailed over them despite their military might and power because God gave them victory! C. v. 29b: "There escaped not a man." It involved finishing. Israel didn't stop fighting until all of the Moabites, Ammonites, and Amalekites in their land had been killed. It was a complete triumph over the adversary. (Ill.) The victory of Israel has a few lessons for us to learn about our own struggles with sin and the flesh. We have everything we need to walk in spiritual victory because God has provided it for us. Prayer, His Word, His Spirit, and His presence in our lives are His gifts to us. We will never win if we do not submit to Him and follow His will. But if we follow Him with humility and fidelity, He can and will free us from the physical slavery! We need not be concerned about our enemies' size or strength. We must use everything God has given us to fight them. We are to prevent the enemy from sending reinforcements and block all escape routes. We are expected to fight until the enemy is defeated completely. We must fight until He brings us back to glory! We are not to allow even the tiniest bit of flesh life to exist within us. There must be an end to all traces of flesh. Jude 1:23 says that we are to live each day "hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.") Conc: Everybody has issues with the flesh. It's self-assured, overindulgent, and out of control. This message is an appeal to us to fight with our flesh. It doesn't have to win every time. It does not need to prevail over us. It does not have to claim our lives as its own. You can be liberated! Ehud is a lot like us. All of us are unlikely victors. Every one of us has some kind of handicap. Each of us is weak. We all have a tendency to fail spiritually. However, we can walk in victory like Ehud. Psa. says that we need to keep the Word of God, our dagger, hidden in our hearts. 119:11, and sneakily assassinate the flesh. You need not be a victim. You can come out on top! You can win against the flesh! This is the place to share any areas of your life where the Lord needs to work!

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