“Then the Sons of Israel cried out to Yahweh. So Yahweh raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gerar, the Benjaminite, a man which was left-handed. And the Sons of Israel sent a gift in his left-hand to Eglon, the king of Moab.”
As I mentioned above, this account is filled with humor if you look for the double entendre, some of which we find here, though it is sometimes lost in English translations. Many of our translations simply state that Ehud is the one who will take the tribute to Ehud. In ancient times, it was common for the conquered people to have to take a tribute either seasonally or annually to the conquering King. And, that may indeed be what Ehud’s assignment is, yet, that is not specifically what the text states. It states that Ehud is bringing a gift for Eglon “in his left hand.” We have already been told in this verse that Ehud is a south-paw, so we know that something is afoot. If we know the rest of the story, then we know that the item that will become most accessible to his left hand will be his long dagger, but that gets ahead of the story. The fact that this man’s left-handedness is mentioned twice in the same verse is meant as an indication that something is coming with respect to the left hand…namely that this gift or left-handed tribute, is not the ordinary kind that we might expect. And certainly not the kind that Eglon will expect.
Ehud’s name means, “He that Praises,” so right up front there is an indication of the kind of man that God chooses to use. He is not predominantly a warrior, though he is clearly skilled in combat, he is a man who praises God first and foremost in all he does. And beloved, if you wish to be used by God in significant ways in life, this is the kind of person that you, too, must be. God will win the battles, build the churches, change the culture, and evangelize the lost, and he will do so through the person whose first aim is to praise and give glory to His great name. There is an old saying that goes, “God does not call the equipped; he equips those he calls.” And those he calls are those who will honor him and not themselves. Ehud is presented to us as such a man.
Too often Christians feel inadequate to change the world. And that is because we are. Yet God is more than adequate and he will work through you if you honor him in all things. The question that we are all faced with is, “will we seek first the kingdom”? God will honor nothing less.