A Message From God

Scripture Basis: Judges 3:12–30
Background Text: Psalm 37:35,36

Central Verse: “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.” (Judges 3:20)

The worst kept secret in all scripture is God’s enmity towards and
promised judgment of evildoers. Prophets from David the psalmist to
John the Baptist have admonished their hearers to flee the punishment
reserved for the ungodly.

The story of Eglon, King of Moab, is one of many pictures of God’s
retribution. The Moabites—in alliance with the Ammonites and the
Amalekites—had subdued the children of Israel, and forced them into
servitude. Eglon profited well for nearly two decades of Israel’s
misfortune: scripture says the Jews became vassals to him personally
(v. 14). We can imagine he grew fat on the tribute that they were
forced to give him.

Eglon also appears to have grown extremely overconfident in that time.
When Ehud, an emissary from Israel bearing yet more gifts, told him he
had a secret message from God, the king dismissed all of his attendants
to receive the news in private. Eglon was curious about a word from the
Lord, but had no reverent fear of this God that he was openly defying.
He didn’t even exhibit natural caution against being alone with an

The ‘message’ to Eglon could be summarized by Proverbs 11:19: “As
righteousness tendeth to life, so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to
his own death.” God had enabled Ehud to cut down the Moabite king,
exacting a divine sentence of death. Moreover, there was a message to
Moab as a nation: “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be
unpunished” (Prov. 11:21). The heathen alliance against the Israelites
fell apart after Eglon’s assassination and Ehud led a rebellion that
soundly defeated the persecutors of Israel.

Examples like Eglon’s should serve to dissuade the church from
“fretting” because of evildoers. The opponents of the Lord have no
staying power: “For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be!”
They may be influential for a time, like Madeline Murray O’Hare, the
celebrated atheist that did more than anyone to remove prayer from
public schools. But also like O’Hare, their influence will evaporate,
their ends will be tragic, and their obituaries will be read and all
but forgotten. Payback from the Lord is a fearsome thing!

Essential Thought: The wicked may prosper for a season, but the righteous will live forever.

1. What contributed to Eglon's overconfidence and false sense of security?

2. How might modern opponents of God and His people suffer the same fate as Eglon?

3. Is it ever appropriate to petition and demonstrate against today's
"workers of iniquity"? Is protest action the same as "fretting"?

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