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“Pudgy and Lefty” (Judges 3:12-30)

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

One of my favorite songs is a song by William Nelson and Merle Haggard called, “Pancho & Lefty.” It’s a song about a couple of outlaws named Pancho and Lefty. Well, that song has inspired the title of today’s sermon, which will make more sense to you later. Today’s sermon is entitled “Pudgy and Lefty.”

Today’s sermon is from

Judges 3

. We’re continuing our series called “Weird Stories from the Bible.”

Before we go any further, let’s go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to speak to us.


As we get into this sermon, we must first understand that . . .

‌I. The build-up of this story is weird.

First of all, we have to understand what is going on in the book of Judges.

A way to remember the book of Judges is the word “cycles.”

There were cycles that kept happening in the book. The people of God would sin against God, God would bring judgment on them, they would cry out to God, God would provide a judge or a deliverer, the people would have peace, then they would get comfortable and start sinning again. This cycle would happen over and over again in the book of Judges.

Let me just point out what I think is obvious, just so you know, church: when things are going well, that is not the time to turn your back on the Lord. In fact, there is never a good time to turn your back on the Lord.

We should faithfully trust the Lord when it’s raining and when the sun is shining. We should worship God when we are rich and when we are poor. We should praise the name of Jesus when we are healthy and when we are dying. We should follow God’s ways when our country is prosperous or when we’re living under oppression. We must realize that every blessing comes from God, and we must realize that God is with us in every moment of suffering.

Don’t be a fair-weather Christian. Be a faithful Christian who faithfully follows all the time!

It’s weird to think that it’s ok to only follow the Lord when He delivers you from trouble.

As we approach this particular story, we see that many of the Israelite tribes were failing when it came to being faithful, mostly in the fact that they did not drive the people out of the land as God commanded.

God delivered them into the land He promised when they came out of Egypt, but they are not thriving in the land because they are not obeying the Lord.

Verse 12 of our passage today, which we’ll get to in just a moment, sums up how the people were behaving in the land.

However, just know this . . . the fact that God did all that He did to deliver the people from Egypt, sustain them as He did, and bring them to the Promised Land, yet, they did not obey Him is crazy.

The build-up to this story is weird.

Second, we see that . . .

‌II. The unfolding of this story is weird.

Let’s look at the passage to see this particular story.

Look at Judges 3:12-30:

12 The Israelites again did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He gave King Eglon of Moab power over Israel, because they had done what was evil in the Lord’s sight. 13 After Eglon convinced the Ammonites and the Amalekites to join forces with him, he attacked and defeated Israel and took possession of the City of Palms., 14 The Israelites served King Eglon of Moab eighteen years.

15 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he raised up Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed Benjaminite, as a deliverer for them. The Israelites sent him with the tribute for King Eglon of Moab.

16 Ehud made himself a double-edged sword eighteen inches long. He strapped it to his right thigh under his clothes 17 and brought the tribute to King Eglon of Moab, who was an extremely fat man. 18 When Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he dismissed the people who had carried it. 19 At the carved images near Gilgal he returned and said, “King Eglon, I have a secret message for you.” The king said, “Silence!” and all his attendants left him. 20 Then Ehud approached him while he was sitting alone in his upstairs room where it was cool. Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you,” and the king stood up from his throne. 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and plunged it into Eglon’s belly. 22 Even the handle went in after the blade, and Eglon’s fat closed in over it, so that Ehud did not withdraw the sword from his belly. And the waste came out. 23 Ehud escaped by way of the porch, closing and locking the doors of the upstairs room behind him.

24 Ehud was gone when Eglon’s servants came in. They looked and found the doors of the upstairs room locked and thought he was relieving himself in the cool room. 25 The servants waited until they became embarrassed and saw that he had still not opened the doors of the upstairs room. So they took the key and opened the doors—and there was their lord lying dead on the floor!

26 Ehud escaped while the servants waited. He passed the Jordan near the carved images and reached Seirah. 27 After he arrived, he sounded the ram’s horn throughout the hill country of Ephraim. The Israelites came down with him from the hill country, and he became their leader. 28 He told them, “Follow me, because the Lord has handed over your enemies, the Moabites, to you.” So they followed him, captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross over. 29 At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all stout and able-bodied men. Not one of them escaped. 30 Moab became subject to Israel that day, and the land had peace for eighty years.

Ok, this is a weird story, right? This is the story of Eglon and Ehud, or as I like to call them, “Pudgy and Lefty.”

Let’s remember how the Israelites got in this position: they sinned against the Lord, and He judged them, in part by allowing Moab to take over the land and have power over them.

So, somebody has to come on behalf of Israel to deliver a tribute to King Eglon. This tribute would have been a payment to the king in order to keep the peace in the land. As long as you paid the tribute, things usually went well.

So, after eighteen years of Moabite dominance over Israel, they cried out to God, and He gave them Ehud as a deliverer. Somehow, the people knew that Ehud was their appointed deliverer, so they sent him to pay the tribute to Eglon.

Ehud had some people come with him to present the tribute, then he dismissed them away from him. Later, Ehud comes to meet with Eglon again.

Ehud comes up with a plan to thrust about an eighteen-inch long sword into the belly of Eglon.

Because Eglon was extremely fat, Ehud didn’t appear to be worried about Eglon having the agility to fight very well.

Also, Ehud was left-handed (by the way, he’s from the tribe of Benjamin, which means “son of my right hand;” so, he’s a left-handed son of my right hand). Because Ehud was left-handed, he could strap the sword under his clothes on his right thigh. People wouldn’t expect that because most people are right-handed (only 10% of the world’s population is left-handed).

Of course, Ehud was so successful, he not only killed Eglon, but he cut him so badly that human waste spilled on the floor. Then, Ehud made a daring escape, leaving Eglon’s servants waiting and scratching their heads about what was taking their king so long to come out of his chambers.

Then, Ehud called the other Israelites down to him using the blowing of the ram’s horn, and they defeated 10,000 Moabites. That’s pretty cool stuff.

So, we have some weird stuff here.

We have a super-fat bad guy named Eglon. When I think of Eglon, I think of Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars.

Then we have the deliverer, Ehud. When I think of how Ehud made his way in, killed the bad guy, and then snuck out, I think of an Army Ranger, a Navy Seal, or a Force Recon Marine.

When I think of Ehud blowing the horn, I think of Boromir from Lord of the Rings.

There’s a lot of cool stuff going on here, but really it’s kind of weird. I mean, when’s the last time you heard of someone losing a knife inside someone’s belly?

The build-up to this story was weird, and the unfolding of this story is weird.

Also, . . .

‌III. The aftermath of this story is weird.

The weird part of the aftermath is not that Ehud and the Israelites were victorious. I actually think that’s quite incredible.

However, let me show you something. Look at Judges 4:1. It says, “The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud had died.”

I mean, is this crazy, or what? God was faithful to deliver them through Othniel, the first judge or deliverer. Then, they sinned against God again, so God raised up Ehud as a deliverer.

Surely, the Israelites would learn their lesson, but they didn’t. Again and again, they turned their backs on the Lord. Again and again, they sinned, through the times of the judges, through the times of the kings, and through the times with no ruler.

The aftermath of this story is weird. Instead of trust and faithfulness, we see fear and unfaithfulness from God’s people.

The people of Israel, behaved terribly!

The fact of the matter is, we do this sometimes, don’t we?

We proclaim that we are people of faith, yet we don’t trust God to provide for us.

We claim to be people who value heavenly blessings, yet we strive harder for the so-called blessings of the world.

We make a verbal commitment to God, yet we don’t even take the time to speak to Him through prayer, or listen for Him to speak to us through His Word.

Let’s not be too hard on the Israelites, because sometimes, we’re pretty inconsistent when it comes to our true commitment to God. Some might say what we say versus what we do is weird.

God gave the Israelites Ehud as a deliverer, but Ehud was not who they ultimately needed.

That takes us to our bottom line:

‌Bottom Line: A weird deliverance is good, but we really need a wonderful deliverance.

God would give more and more deliverers to Israel. He would give them judges like Ehud, Gideon, and Samson. He would give them prophets like Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. He would give them kings like Saul, David, Solomon, and Josiah.

However, do you know how it all ended for them at the end of the Old Testament? They were totally defeated, conquered by Persia, and trying to rebuild all that was lost. They were seemingly without hope.

They had some deliverers, but they needed a wonderful deliverer.

In Galatians 1:3-4, the apostle Paul speaks of “ . . . our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.”

In 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, the apostle Paul speaks of “ . . . Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”

Jesus is the deliver we need. He is our wonderful deliverer!

That leads to our only weekly challenge for this sermon.

‌Weekly Challenge #1 – Cry out to your wonderful deliverer.

Romans 10:13 says, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Will you call on the name of the Lord to be saved? Will you call out to your wonderful deliverer?

We not only call upon the Lord for our initial salvation, but we also call out to Him for our every need.

Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Call out to your deliverer. Take some time this week to focus on the wonder of Jesus, our wonderful deliverer.

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

Response Song – I Surrender All

(Announcements – Richard)

(Giving emphasis)


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