Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

                                                                                      8-8-05

A Secret Message Made Public

Judges 2:12-2:30

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

13 Then he gathered to himself the people of Ammon and Amalek, went and defeated Israel, and took possession of the City of palms.

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

15 But when the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for them: Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. By him the children of Israel sent tribute to Eglon king of Moab.

16 Now Ehud made himself a dagger (it was double-edged and a cubit in length) and fastened it under his clothes on his right thigh.
17 So he brought the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. (Now Eglon was a very fat man.)

18 And when he had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who had caried the tribute.

19 But he himself turned back from the stone images that were at
Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” He said, “Keep silence!” And all who attended him went out from him.
20 So Ehud came to him (now he was sitting upstairs in his cool private chamber). Then Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” So he arose from his seat.

21 Then Ehud reached with his left hand, took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly.

22 Even the handle went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not draw the dagger out of his belly; and his entrails (inner parts) came out.

23 Then Ehud went out through the porch and shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.

24 When he had gone out, Eglon’s servants came to look, and to their surprise, the doors
of the upper room were locked. So they said, “He is probably attending to his needs in the cool chamber.”

25 So they waited till they were embarassed, and still he had not opened the doors of the upper room. Therefore they took the key and opened them. And there was their master, fallen dead on the floor.

26 But Ehud had escaped while they delayed, and passed beyond the stone images and escaped to Seirah.

 27 And it happened, when he arrived, that he blew the trumpet in the mountains of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mountains; and he led them.

28 Then he said to them, “Follow me, for the LORD has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand.”  So they went down after him, seized the fords of the Jordan leading to Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross over.

29 And at that time they killed about ten thousand men of Moab, all stout men of valor;
not a man escaped.

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

One of the fascinating things about the Bible is that it has spoken so powerfully to people who lived long ago, and yet it has a clear message of God for us today.

 

In the time in which we read of in Judges, God’s people were trying to be like the world.

 

They got caught up in the worship of idols.

 

They were defeated by their enemies.

 

They suffered years of bondage because of their sins.

 

Whenever they repented and turned back to God, God would send them a deliverer to rescue them from their sinful situation.


Our message today is “A Secret Message Made Public”.


The message is this.........YOU CAN’T DO WRONG AND GET BY WITH IT.


I believe that’s a secret message that must be made public.

 

“YOU CAN’T DO WRONG AND GET BY WITH IT”

Verse 12 says, “And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.”

God will not necessarily step in when you sin several times.

 

God is patient with us.

God is longsuffering.

 

But the children of Israel did evil AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN!

 

The lesson is plain in scriptures; God’s people can’t continue in sin and expect nothing to happen.

 

I’ll give you four examples that back up what I said

Example #1: Noah built an Ark. Genesis 6:5 says, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” GOD STEPPED IN WITH A FLOOD.

Example #2: Lot was in Sodom. The wickedness there came to such an extraordinary level that God had to do something about it.

Example #3: Nineveh became such a wicked city, that if they had not repented, God would have had to destroy it.

Example #4: In History, God has allowed great empires to be destroyed because of their wickedness.  Hitler’s Germany is an example.  The Soviet Union is another example of an evil empire.

GOD WILL USE WICKED KINGS AND EVIL EMPIRES TO DISCIPLINE HIS CHILDREN.

 

The passage said that “The LORD strengthened Eglon...”

 
Eglon, the king of Moab, united with other pagan countries to go against Israel.

 

Moab was the descendants of an incestuous affair between Lot and his daughter-in-law.

 

Amalek is the descendants of Esau.

 

Esau, despised his birthright and chose the way of the world.

 

The Moabites and the Amalekites have been thorns in the sides of Israel down through history.

 

Ammon is the descendants of Lot.

 

All of these pagan nations were the results of compromise in the lives of God’s people.

 

Every false religion and every pagan tribe in our world is the results of God’s people compromising with the world somewhere in history.

It says in verse 13 that “they defeated Israel...and took possession of the City of Palms”; that’s another name for Jericho.


And then, in verse 14 we are informed that the children of Israel served Eglon, king of Moab, for 18 years.


One minute is too long to be in bondage to some ungodly king.

 

They served Eglon for 18 yrs.

 

Sin leads to BONDAGE!!!

 

The Message is: YOU CAN’T DO WRONG AND GET BY WITH IT, AND continuing to do wrong leads to an evil lifestyle, which leads to bondage and death.

“Sin will take you farther than you want to go, and keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”

The children of Israel did not remain in bondage for 1 or 2 years, it was 18 years.

 

And they were required to pay a large sum of money each year to King Eglon.

 

The children of Israel selected a man by the name of Ehud (a left-handed guy) to take this tribute money to king Eglon each year.

 

Once again, this is how the saying goes: “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”

 

Someone might say, “This is the year 2005; things have changed, it is not like it use to be, you can do certain things...it is expected of you to go much farther than your parents and explore the unknown and get familiar with that which has been off limits.”

Bondage is real!

 

People today are in bondage to drugs, alcohol, immoral lifestyles.

People are in real bondage, and they can’t walk away from it in their own power.

 

They need deliverance!

WHAT IS THIS SECRET MESSAGE THAT MUST BE MADE PUBLIC?

1. YOU CAN’T DO WRONG AND EXPECT TO GET BY WITH IT.


2. THERE IS DELIVERANCE FOR FOLKS WHO TURN TO GOD.

Verse 15 says, “But when the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for them: Ehud........”

The children of Israel could not rid themselves of this fat bull of Moab.

 

King Eglon grew fat on the labors of Israel.

 

He was not going away quietly.

 

He had no plans to leave.

 

The children of Israel served him....and they began to wake up to the fact, that serving Eglon was not fun anymore.

 

They could not in their own power rid themselves of Eglon.

 

They needed divine assistance.

 

They prayed, and they cried out to the LORD.

 

God heard them and He raised up a deliverer.


Here we see the importance of prayer.

 

Here we see the importance of repentance.


The secret message that must be made public all across our country is that deliverance can come if God’s people will humble themselves and pray and repent and turn their hearts back to God.

Next, I will attempt to show you that GOD WILL SUPPLY THE MEANS FOR OUR DELIVERANCE.

 

There’s a connection between deliverence and three important aspects of the Christian life.

First, Deliverance is connected to worship and praise!


Ehud’s name means “one who praises God.”


Ehud was a worshipper of God.

 

Our deliverance begins at the moment we begin to worship and praise God.

 

We notice that king Eglon took possession of the City of Palms, or Jericho.

 

Do you remember how God delivered Jericho into the hands of the children of Israel?

 

They marched around the city and shouted, blew trumpets, and praised God; and then the walls fell down.

 

Ehud’s very name means “one who praises God”.

 

There is power in praise!

 

To experience deliverance from being in bondage to profanity, we must give our lips to the praises of Jesus!

 

To experience deliverance from bondage to pornography, we must give our eyes to the praise of Jesus.

 

People speak today of all kinds of addictions.

 

So and So is addicted to this, and so and so is addicted to that.

 

BECOME ADDICTED TO PRAISE, and those unclean thoughts, and unclean habits will just have to go.

 

Fill your mind with only that which is of praise and glory to God and your bondage to wickedness will have to go.

Philippians 4: 8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things.”

GOD WILL SUPPLY THE MEANS OF OUR DELIVERANCE; OUR PART IS TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP HIM AND GIVE HIM HONOR AND GLORY.

Secondly, Deliverance is connected with a life of dependence upon God.


Remember, verse 15 said Ehud was “a left-handed man”

 

The Hebrew text, according to some scholars, suggests he was left-handed only by necessity.

 

That is, he was crippled in the right hand, and had to depend upon his left hand.

 

Consequently, he is left-handed.

 

It may be that Ehud was selected by the children of Israel to take the tribute (money) each year to king Eglon for this reason.

 

His condition did not pose a threat to king Eglon.

 

A strong warrior probably would not make it back from king Eglon.

 

Ehud had to put faith in God to make such a trip to king Eglon each year.

 

Ehud, because of his crippled condition, had to depend upon the strength of the Lord.

 

The Bible says, “God raised up Ehud for such a time to be the deliverer.”

 

God uses people who will depend upon Him.

David was not even called home from the fields when the prophet Samuel was there to anoint him as king of Israel.

 

David’s father, Jessie, did not see kingly material in his son, David.

 

God told the prophet Samuel, “Man looks on the outward appearance, God
looks on the heart.”


If we are to know deliverance from bondage from whatever it may be, we must learn to
trust the Lord.

 

As long as we are trying to turn over a new leaf, reforming ourselves, and trying to improve ourselves, we will continue in defeat and bondage to our crippling addiction.

 

WE NEED DELIVERANCE FROM GOD and we must depend upon God for His deliverance.

SO, DELIVERANCE IS CONNECTED TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP AND TO DEPENDENCE ON GOD.

Last, and certainly not least, Deliverance is connected with the WORD OF GOD.

Verse 16 says that Ehud “made himself a dagger.”

 

It was double-edged, and a cubit (18 inches) long.


Most people were not making daggers; they were making themselves comfortable with a
life of bondage.

 

Deliverance from bondage will require a violent take-over.

 

Many people are not ready for such messy things as that.

 

But, Ehud was working on a something to turn the tables.

 

A secret weapon was being crafted by Ehud.

Ehud had been working on this secret weapon for quite awhile.

 

I can imagine us getting close to where Ehud lived and we could hear in the darkness...somewhere there’s metal upon a grinding stone.

 

Ehud preparing a dagger.

 

I can also imagine the thoughts that went through Ehud’s mind; as he brought the tribute each year, he was thinking of how could he do this?

 

How could Eglon be destroyed?

 

Can’t you see Ehud behind his house practicing?

 

Look at him reaching with his left hand down to grasp the dagger from his right thigh and thrusting it forward.

 

He practices again and again and again until every move is perfected.

 

Ehud no doubt had a target in his backyard, and every time he passed this target he thought of king Eglon.

 

You can see him pulling the dagger ever so quickly.

 

Ehud, the fastest dagger in the Middle East.

 

Then the day comes.

He has practiced every move and now comes the actual moment.

 

All that he has learned, he will now execute.

 

The application of his skills and talents with his dagger will now be used for God’s honor and glory.

So now the day had come.

 

Ehud had the job of taking the tribute to Eglon’s palace.

 

Ehud along with some other men did this each year, so it was nothing new.

 

After delivering the tribute, Ehud and his men returned toward home.

 

Just a little ways from the city, Ehud bids his friends farewell and returns back to the king’s palace.

 

Ehud let’s the kings’ servants know that he had a secret message for the king.

 

Inside Ehud says “I have a secret message for you, king Eglon.”

 

King Eglon sends everyone out of the room.

 

Only Ehud and the king are left in the summer parlor.

 

The king was sitting privately in his cool chamber.

 

I have looked at several texts and it appears that the king was sitting on the pot.

 

Ehud knew this would be a good time...the king was vulnerable.

 

Ehud says, “King I have a secret message for you.”

 

King Eglon leans over to receive the message into his ear, but failed to see the flashing of metal, and with one mighty blow...he was history!

 

A premeditated blow!

 

A planned assassination!

 

The fatal blow was so quick and powerful that the dagger went completely to the other side of his body.

 

The handle was also enclosed by the body fat.

 

From the wound gushed forth his intestines and its contents.

 

A horrible sight!

 

The stench filled the room!

Ehud leaves the king’s chambers.

 

He locks the door which is made to appear like the king had it locked.

 

Eglon’s servants see Ehud leaving and return and find the door locked.

 

They thought, well he is still relieving himself.

 

You don’t just bang on the bathroom door of the king.

 

They waited and waited and waited.

 

They were so embarrassed that they took a key to unlock the door.

 

They found their master on the floor...dead!


Meanwhile, Ehud had escaped beyond the stone images and into the mountains of
Ephraim.

 

He blew a trumpet and rallied all Israel to fight against the Moabites.

 

That day they killed 10,000 Moabites, all stout men of valor; not a man escaped.

 

For 80 years the land had rest.

Bondage to king Eglon had ended.

 

Deliverance had come.

 

Ehud was faithful in using his secret weapon, his dagger.

 

He had a secret message for the king.

 

That secret message was the sword.

 

There is no sword like the sword of the Lord.

 

Later in the book of Judges, the story of Gideon is about the sword of the Lord.

 

That dagger (or sword) of Ehud represents to us the sword of the Lord, which is the WORD OF GOD!

Hebrews 4:12 states, “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.”


And Ephesians 6:17 says, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”

There needs to be more Ehud’s.

 

More deliverers are needed in our day.

 

What that lost person needs is deliverance from Satan.

 

Satan is that fat bull of Moab.

 

He won’t let lost people get saved without a fight.

 

Many Christians have played with the world and have allowed themselves to become addicted to evil habits.

 

Addiction is not only a problem with the unbelievers.

 

There are Christians bound to some kind of addiction.

 

There are folks addicted to pornography.

 

Some are addicted to gambling.

 

Some are addicted to some pleasures that keep them away from church.

 

Some folks are addicted to TV.

 

I heard of a person who had to quickly leave a funeral of their relative because of a certain show that was coming on TV.

 

Some folks are addicted to violent behavior, or abusive behavior.

 

Then of course there are the drugs and alcohol addiction.

 

And don’t forget folks who are addicted to their work.

How we need some Ehud’s who will allow the Word of God to become a sharp weapon
that they will be ready to use.

 

I know we described a violent act, a messy act, something very gruesome and very unpleasant to think about.

 

The Word of God does a violent thing to the flesh.

 

It cuts, it divides, and it does great damage to the flesh.

 

There will never be peace for the unbelieving world.

 

And if you walk with the Lord Jesus, and walk in His Word you will never know peace in the world until Jesus comes.

 

You can have peace in your heart, but the world will not allow you to know peace.

Jesus said in Matthew 10:34-36 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did
not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law agaist her mother-in-law;” and a
man’s enemies will be those of his own household.”


There are many who are kicked out of the family for becoming a Christian.

 

Persecution, hardships, torture and death are still going on in the world against Believers.

 

This world will not take to the WORD OF GOD.

 

The flesh (old nature) of the unsaved person will not enjoy it.

The Secret Message that must be made public is this; “There is deliverance in the Lord God.”

 

Verse 28 says, “Follow me for the LORD has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand”

There is deliverance in Jesus!

May the Lord help us to blow the trumpet?

 

Make public this great news...there is deliverance in Jesus!

 

Like Ehud, may God help us to swiftly share God’s Word from our hearts to a desperate world?

 

May God help us to quickly display it and make application of the sword of the Spirit in every situation?

 

The Word of God will work at the cradle of the newborn.

 

The Word of God will work in the life of that young child.

 

It will work in the teenage years.

 

It will work in the young adult years.

 

It will work in the newlywed years.

 

It will work in the family life.

 

It will work in the business life.

 

It will work in the workplace, the schoolhouse, the courthouse, and in the White House.

So many need to be set free.

 

Jesus said in John 8:31, 32 “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

There are so many who are in bondage.

 

The message is powerful!

 

It has been a secret for too long in the lives of many folks, and maybe you are here today and you have allowed God’s Word to be a secret in your life.

 

It needs to be made public.

 

You need to face that Eglon in your life.

 

You need to be bold like Ehud and bring a death blow to that Eglon that keeps you in bondage.

 

You need to make application of what you already know to be true.

 

Lost person, unsaved, outside of the saving grace of God, you need to
apply what you already know to be true.

 

Jesus took those death blows upon the cross.

He took your sins so that you might know real freedom.

You don’t have to carry those sins anymore.

 

You don’t have to carry that guilt any longer!

 

The children of Israel were in Bondage for 18 years, but you don’t have to be in bondage to Satan any longer, because Jesus came to set you free!

 

Amen.                                                                                                  

 

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