Sermon #1664                          Miscellaneous Sermons

 

     Title:      When Lefty Let Fatty Have It

     Text:     Judges 3:12-30

     Subject: Ehud God’s Left-handed Deliverer

     Date:     Sunday Morning — December 10, 2006

     Tape #   Z-17a

     Reading:    Isaiah 52:7-10

     Introduction:

 

After we arrived in Merida, Mexico Monday afternoon, we sat around for a little while visiting with the Groovers, just catching up and enjoying one another. In the course of our conversation, Bro. Walter mentioned the title of a sermon he heard more than forty years ago, and asked me if I could tell him the text. The title of the sermon was “When Lefty Let Fatty Have It.” We all laughed, and I said, “I would guess the text was Judges 3.” Bro. Groover smiled and said, “I sure would like to hear you preach on that sometime.” Well, I’ve had that passage on my mind all week. I just couldn’t shake myself from it. So I want you to turn with me to Judges 3. The title, “When Lefty Let Fatty Have It,” is humorous and clever; but the message I have to deliver is weighty and serious. As Ehud said to Eglon, the king of Moab, “I have a message from God unto thee.” May God the Holy Spirit give you ears to hear it and a heart to receive it.

 

Judges 3:12-30

 

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

 

And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord.” — What great meaning there is in that word “again.” Even Israel, God’s chosen, covenant people, the people to whom his mercies were immeasurable, “did evil again in the sight of the Lord,” before the face of their merciful God! How God’s Jacobs, whom he has made his Israel, are compelled to confess, again and again, “I have sinned!” But, blessed be his name, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin!” He chastens us for our sins, that we may cleave the more to him, our mighty Deliverer and Savior; but he never ceases to be our Deliverer and Savior!

 

13.        And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.

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

15.        But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.

 

What grace! When our great God intends to send great mercy, he causes his chosen to seek his mercy. — “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24). — “And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18).

 

This man, Ehud, we are told, was a left-handed man. His name means “united, or I will give thanks.” Yet, Ehud, this left-handed man, was a Benjamite, and the name Benjamin means “son of the right hand.” Perhaps this is here mentioned because, being one of Israel’s judges (deliverers) he is held before us as a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is called the Son of Jehovah’s “right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself” (Psalm 80:17).

 

16.        But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.

17.        And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.

18.        And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.

19.        But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.

20.        And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.

 

Anytime you see a man coming with a present in his right hand and a dagger within the reach of his left hand, you would be wise to pay close attention to both hands, especially if he declares, “I have a message from God unto thee.” His message will be found either in the present of his right hand or in the dagger at his left.

 

21.        And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:

22.        And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.

23.        Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.

24.        When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.

25.        And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.

26.        And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath.

27.        And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.

28.        And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.

29.        And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.

 

Everything in this passage demonstrates that the whole event was ordered of God. — Eglon was so excited to hear that this representative of the Jews brought him a message from God that the king arose before one who was his slave. — His guards were so blinded that they seem to have had no suspicion this man who was the king’s enemy might do him harm. — And Moab’s destruction after Eglon’s death was complete.

 

Who can fail to see the parallel? When God the Holy Spirit stirs his people to seek his mercy in Christ, when he stirs the heart of a chosen, redeemed sinner to pray for grace, when he puts prayer in the heart of a needy sinner, all things conspire to bring deliverance to the captive soul. — “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him” (Psalm 12:5).

 

30.        So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.

 

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years;” and the heaven born soul shall have peace! When the Lord God gives saving mercy it is peace, always peace, and nothing but peace because Christ has made peace by the blood of his cross. When the Lord Jesus, our mighty Ehud, blows the great trumpet of his salvation in the mount of Ephraim, the children of Israel shall follow after him. — “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem” (Isaiah 27:13).

 

The message with which the Lord God sent Ehud to Eglon was a sharp dagger, a glittering, two-edged sword. When the message was delivered Eglon, the Moabite king, was dead, the Moabites were slain, and God’s chosen people (the children of Israel) were delivered from captivity.

 

Like Ehud, the message with which the Lord God has sent me to you is a glittering, two-edged sword, the very Word of God. — “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

 

When I have delivered the message God has given me the results will be exactly the same as Ehud delivered God’s message to Eglon. — Some will be slain by it. — Others will be saved by it. — To some it will be a savor of life unto life. — To others it will be a savor of death unto death.

 

I am here on my Master’s business. My heart is full with the message he has given me, and full with the consequences of it. I think I know what the prophets of old meant when they spoke of “the burden of the word of the Lord.” I will give you my message in five statements, five things you need to know, things that directly concern you.

 

Created for God’s Glory

 

First, I want you to see this. — God almighty created you for his own glory. I am not ignorant of Satan’s devices. I know that almost all people these days accept the theory of evolution as an established fact. And some of you may try to convince yourselves that it is so. But in your heart and conscience you are not and can never be convinced that you evolved from an ape or crawled out of some kind of cosmic ooze. You may suppress the truth in unrighteousness, but you can never convince yourself against it, “because that which may be known of God” by nature “is revealed in” you, “for God hath showed it unto” you. — “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20). The very law of God is written in your heart, and your conscience bears witness to it (Romans 2:15).

 

Š       The God of Glory created the world out of nothing (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3).

 

(Genesis 1:1) “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

 

(John 1:1-3) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

 

Š       The Lord God created man in his own image and after his own likeness (Genesis 1:26-27; Ecclesiastes 7:29).

 

(Genesis 1:26-27) “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

 

(Ecclesiastes 7:29) “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.”

 

The fact that we were created in the image of God means many things. But, for now, the one thing I want you to understand is that when the Lord God created man in his own image and after his own likeness, he made him holy, upright in character, and righteous before him.

 

Illustration: “I’ve seen better days.”

 

Having said all that, understand this. — God created you for himself, for his own pleasure and his own glory. God did not create the world for your pleasure. He created you and me for his pleasure (Proverbs 16:4; Revelation 4:11). He says, with regard to man, with regard to you and me, “I have created him for my glory” (Isaiah 43:7).

 

(Proverbs 16:4) “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”

 

(Revelation 4:11) “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

 

You and I belong to God. He owns us lock, stock and barrel. He can do with us what he will. He can hold us in life, or kill us. He can save us, or damn us. It is entirely up to him. And he owes us no explanation. — “None can stay his hand or say unto him, What doest thou?” — Everything about us, life, being and eternal destiny, is in his hands entirely (Romans 9:22-26).

 

(Romans 9:22-26) “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: (23) And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, (24) Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (25) As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. (26) And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.”

 

One way or another, God is going to glorify himself by you and by me. — He will display his sovereignty in all. We are told plainly that the Lord strengthened Eglon’s hand against Israel (Judges 3:12), just as he did Pharaoh’s; but he saved Israel. — He will display his justice in all. Both in wrath and in mercy, God always acts in justice. — But, blessed be his name, God has chosen to display the glory of his grace in some! I pray that he may be pleased to display the glory of his grace in you. — Either way, he is God, and I intend to worship him as God!

 

All Have Sinned

 

The second fact is this. — You and I have sinned against God. We are sinners. We have sinned against God our Maker, our Creator, the sovereign, holy, omnipotent Lord God. I am talking to you. You are a sinner!

 

If there is one word above all others that most fully and most accurately describes the human race, one word above all others that most fully and most accurately describes you, one word above all others that most fully and most accurately describes me, in particular, that word is “sin.”

 

The ancient Jews used several words to speak of sin. But sin does not consist in this, or that act of evil. The acts of sin are but the branches. The root is within. Sin is what we are. Robert Hawker wrote, “The fallen and corrupt nature of man, sin itself, is alike in every son and daughter of Adam.” It does not break out alike in all; but it is the same in all. We are sinners by imputation (Romans 5:12), by birth (Psalm 51:5; 58:3), by choice (Isaiah 53:6), by practice (Genesis 6:5), and at heart (Jeremiah 17:9. Even our righteousnesses are filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). Do you understand what I am saying? You are an abominable thing, a filthy thing, drinking iniquity like water (Job 15:16); and so am I! Sin is our nature. Sin is what we are.

 

All sin is against God. Every act of sin is man’s way of showing his contempt and hatred of God. All sin arises from our depraved hearts, hearts of utter enmity against God (Psalm 51:4; Romans 8:7).

 

If I were to give you my resume, I could give it to you in one word — “SIN.” That’s what I am; and that’s what I do. Sin is my name; and sin is my sir name. I take my place before God in the dust as a sinner. You will never obtain mercy until you do the same.

 

What does that mean? When the Word of God declares that you are a sinner, what is it saying? It means that you are under the curse of God’s holy law and justice. It means that the wrath of God is upon you. How can I speak to your heart? If you are without Christ, the holy wrath of the holy Lord God is upon you! The curse of God is upon you! You are cursed of God! — “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

 

Will you hear me? You are on your way to hell! It is the awareness of that fact that fills your heart with fear and terrifies your guilty soul. Your conscience screams inside, “Damned! Damned! Damned!” And you cannot silence the screams. It is your consciousness of sin, of guilt, of wrath, of judgment, and of hell that allows you no peace. And there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot…

Š       Change your nature.

Š       Atone for your sin.

Š       Make yourself righteous.

Š       Take away the curse.

Š       Silence your screaming conscience.

 

Jesus Saves

 

Yet, it is your helpless condition as a guilty, hell-deserving sinner under the wrath of God is the very thing that makes you a candidate for God’s mercy, because the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world to save sinners. — “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10 – 1 Tim. 1:15; Galatians 1:3-5; Romans 5:6-8; Matthew 1:21). That is the third fact I want you to see.

 

“We have heard the joyful sound —

‘Jesus saves! Jesus saves!’

Spread the tidings all around —

‘Jesus saves! Jesus saves!’”

 

(1 Timothy 1:15) “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

 

(Galatians 1:3-5) “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, (4) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: (5) To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

 

(Romans 5:6-8) “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

(Matthew 1:21) “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

 

The Lord God found a way to bring fallen, sinful, depraved men and women back to himself in perfect reconciliation without tarnishing his justice or bending his law. He looks upon his darling Son and says, “I have found a ransom!” Christ is the Way! Christ is the Ransom! (Hebrews 10:19-22; 7:25)

 

(Hebrews 10:19-22) “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (21) And having an high priest over the house of God; (22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

 

(Hebrews 7:25) “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

 

The Lord Jesus Christ saves poor, guilty sinners by four distinct acts of infinite mercy, grace and love.

Š      He brought in everlasting righteousness by his obedience to God as our Representative (Romans 5:19; Jeremiah 23:6).

Š      He made atonement for sin by satisfying the justice of God in the accomplishment of eternal redemption (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).

Š      He sends his Holy Spirit in sovereign, irresistible, saving power to raise chosen, redeemed sinners from death to life in the new birth (John 3:3-8).

Š      He will come again to glorify all his saints in the power and glory of his resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Christ alone is our Savior. He is all our salvation (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). There is salvation in no other.

 

Trust Christ

 

Fourth, if you would be saved, you must trust the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 45:22; Acts 4:12). You must believe on the Son of God.

 

(Isaiah 45:22) “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”

 

(Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

 

Š      The God of Glory promises salvation to all who trust his Son (John 3:18, 36; Acts 16:31).

 

(John 3:18) “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

 

(John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

 

(Acts 16:31) “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

 

Š      Not only does he promise it, the triune God (Father, son and Holy Spirit) urges sinners to come to Christ in faith (Isaiah 55:1-7; Matthew 11:28-30; John 7:37; Revelation 22:17).

 

God the Father says — (Isaiah 55:1-7) “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (2) Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (3) Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. (4) Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. (5) Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. (6) Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (7) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

 

God the Son says — (Matthew 11:28-30) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

(John 7:37) “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”

 

God the Holy Spirit — (Revelation 22:17) “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

 

Š      Still, there is more. — The Lord God commands you to trust his Son!

 

You may ask, “But may I come?” — If God commands you to come, you may come; and God commands you to come to Christ (1 John 3:23; Romans 10:21).

 

(1 John 3:23) “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”

 

(Romans 10:21) “But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.”

 

Four times the Spirit of God says, “Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart” (Psalm 95:7-8; Hebrews 3:7 15; 4:7). Do you hear his voice?— “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2) — “Why will ye die?”

 

Š      Why will you die when life is to be had freely?

Š      Why will you perish under the wrath of God, when he “delighteth in mercy”?

 

         Illustration: The Handkerchief

 

Š      Why will you rush headlong to hell, when the Door is open in heaven and God himself bids you “Come up hither”?

Š      Why will you go on carrying the guilt of sin, when the Lord God is a God who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin?

Š      Will you die for thirst, with the Water of Life before you?

Š      Will you perish for want of bread, with the Bread of Life on the table?

Š      Will you be forever lost? If so, there is but one reason. The Son of God declares it to be this: — “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life!” Oh, may God be pleased to save you from yourself, for Christ’s sake!

 

Saved

 

Now, I want you to see and understand just one more thing. — If you trust the Lord Jesus Christ, God has saved you by his almighty grace. Your faith in Christ is the fruit of God’s grace in you. It is the gift of God. Faith is not a work you perform for God, but a work God performs in you by his Spirit (Ephesians 1:18-19; 2:8-9; Colossians 1:12). Faith in Christ is not the cause of the new birth, but the result. It is both the result and the evidence of God’s salvation (Hebrews 11:1). It is the result and evidence of….

Š      Election (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5).

Š      Redemption (John 10:15, 25).

Š      Regeneration (Ephesians 1:13-14).

“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:1, 12). — “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36).

 

Application

 

Has God saved you by his grace? If God has given you life and faith in Christ, the Lord has delivered you!

Š      Confess Him.

Š      Give Him the Glory.

Š      Live for Him Forever!

 

Amen.