Bondage of Eglon | Again, the Israelites fell into apostasy  and God handed them over in bondage to an evil earthly ruler – Eglon king of Moab . Eglon was “a very fat man”  because he and his fellow Moabites stuffed themselves on the tribute that they forced the Israelites to bring. Although many conquered peoples brought their rulers tribute in the form of silver or gold, Eglon forced the Israelites to bring grain – grain that was supposed to be given to God . Thus, they feasted in gluttony on what rightfully belonged to God as the Israelites starved.
Deliverance of Ehud | Then, “the Israelites cried out to the LORD and he gave them a deliverer – Ehud” . Ehud was the perfect symbol of Moab’s supremacy over Israel – he was a military leader with a handicapped fighting arm. In fact, Ehud’s presence was so disarming and Eglon’s heart was so proud that, when Ehud requested a moment with the king, Eglon sent his attendants away. Then, as the two were alone, the king rose from his seat and “Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly. Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it” . Thus, having lived eighteen years for his belly, he died by it as well. As a result, the Israelites were freed from Eglon’s bondage and enjoyed peace and ease for the next eighty years.
Deliverance of Jesus | Like Ehud, Jesus was an unexpected deliverer – a disarmingly poor carpenter from Galilee who had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him . Yet, He rescued us from the bondage of sin that fattens us, as we consume the glory that rightfully belongs to God: “ … Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God the Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever” .
Prayer | Lord, Thank You for sending Jesus to deliver us from the power of sin in our hearts. Although we have grown fat with our sin, we know that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set [us] free from the law of sin and death” . Amen.
Footnotes:  Jdg. 3:12 |  Id. |  Jdg. 3:17 NIV |  See, e.g., Lev. 2:1-16; 6:14-18; 7:9-10; 10:12-13 |  Jdg. 3:15 NIV |  Jdg. 3:20-22 NIV |  Is. 53:2 |  Gal. 1:3-4 NIV |  Rom. 8:1-2 NIV | [FN] For an excellent sermon on this chapter – which I used for research for this post – can be found here: Rico Tice (pastor at All Souls in London), “Ehud Left-Handed Savior” (Jan. 1, 2000) (32 minutes in length).