So I’ve recently been reading through the book of Judges (with the aid of the brilliant Judges for You by Tim Keller) and have been really loving it. The tales of each judge in Israel’s history makes for some good reading and reflection, whilst being – in parts – hilarious but gruesome.
You see, Israel had not been doing a great job of remembering who had saved them from Egypt, given them their lands etc. This had meant that they’d been judged and punished. When they finally realize what they’ve done they cry out to God who gives them a new leader (or judge) who leads them and generally brings the people back to God and peace.
In particular, there’s a guy in Judges 3:12-30 called Ehud. Now he’s a left-handed guy, called upon to be a judge to the people of Israel. This left-handed thing is not an odd addition, but actually quite important. In those days being left-handed was one of the worst things you can be. No-one took you seriously because, in their opinion, your military might was severely impeded by this disability. However, as I’ve said, Ehud was called to be a judge and went on to slay one of Israel’s biggest oppressors in his day.
Due to his left-handedness he is able to hide his sword on the opposite side to where the other soldiers of Israel would, so that the guards of the king’s palace do not see it. This lets him get close enough to the king to assassinate him. The passage says that the king was so fat that the sword plunged all the way in, “cutting the dung”. The guards come to check on the king, only to think he is relieving himself due to the smell! Who says the Bible isn’t meant to be funny in parts?
I would highly recommend reading the account of Ehud. It is a great story with many great reflection points, plus a pointer towards a greater judge, who would be despised and rejected for who he was also…
Over the past summer I was involved in a number of activities in which I got to speak to a number of people. A lot of these people spoke to me about their faith and what they believe. A number of these people identified themselves as Christian, but would be the first to admit their knowledge was not great. Through discussion we were able to tackle some of the big questions they had, whilst challenging ourselves at the same time. I thought it would be a great idea to document some of the questions asked, and the answers we found – hopefully exploring the topic more (I don’t for any moment believe that the answers provided are perfect, and would love additions/corrections), and aiding others who either are new to things so don’t know or even those who are not new to the faith, but have never thought or felt they could ask these questions.
The story of Ehud inspired the name of the series, since we’ll be “cutting the dung” to get a systematic, biblical answer to the question. I hope you enjoy this series as much as I am researching and writing it.