The Escape!

“And Ehud went out of the window and he had closed the doors to the upper room behind him and secured them.”

(Judges 3:23)

Once again, depending on how you understand the visual imagery of what is going on will depend on how you translate this passage. For example, some commentators who interpret NØwdVv√rAÚp (parshedon) in the previous verse to Eglon’s dung coming out of him have presumed that this upper room was a place to go to the bathroom in the first place. Preferring to translate h…ÎyˆlSo (aliyyah) as “upper room” (as discussed above), I would simply see this as a cooler place to go after official activities were through. That means that the term NØwr;√dVsIm (misderon) as essentially a window — the opening in the upper room through which the breeze comes in and out to cool the space, not some sort of porch or ventilation shaft as some have suggested.

Yet, before Ehud leaves, he secures the doors so that others cannot easily come in to Eglon’s rescue while Ehud makes his escape. And thus, our hero is off, preparing to rendezvous with his soldiers and secure the victory over their wicked oppressors…leaving behind the body of the wicked king in a shameful condition…God’s judgment upon those who oppress his people.

It strikes me as interesting, noting accounts like this, that anyone would ever want to oppress God’s people. It always turns out bad for the oppressor. But knowing this full well, nation after nation, government after government, association after association have oppressed God’s elect through the ages. It is as if they said to themselves, “I know I’ll probably meet a terrible end for doing this, but I want to do this anyway.” Then again, isn’t that the mindset of ever sin we commit as well? God says , “no, don’t do this.” Yet, as Christians, we so often do it anyway. In eternity we may be forgiven in Christ, but God often disciplines us to break of us of these practices that dishonor his name.

For us, this is a passage that not only ought to encourage us as we face trials and oppressions in this life, but also one that ought to warn us against excusing sin, for God will call us to task on these matters. The clay must honor the design of the potter.

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