One of the many forms of communication that we use in reaching others is text messaging. The average American checks their phone 46 times per day and spends 23 hours per week texting. It takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email and only 90 seconds to answer a text. We’ve become an impersonal community of individuals, shying away from face to face connections and verbal dialogue. The good old days of sitting around the living room and exchanging conversation have turned into endless TV watching and thumb exercises with our cell phones.
Verbal communication has subsided in exchange for technological advancements but this lost spoken word is necessary for the equipping of the believer’s arsenal. We can’t keep quiet anymore and our silence needs to be broken. Which brings us to the book of Judges. Probably one of the most violent and heart-wrenching books in the Old Testament, we see a spiral effect of Israel turning away from God repeatedly and the rising up of appointed judges to deliver God’s message. Chapter three records one such judge named Ehud. This man from the tribe of Benjamin brought such a message to the Moabite King Eglon which ended like a scene taken from a theatrical performance.
Ehud was left-handed and it was seen as a physical defect during that time, but God uses this man as a mouthpiece to disclose an important message.
And when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who carried the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back at the idols near Gilgal and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And he commanded, “Silence.” And all his attendants went out from his presence. 20 And Ehud came to him as he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he arose from his seat. 21 And Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. Judges 3:18–21
“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.”
Leonardo da Vinci
The mighty king met his fate by the stealth like actions of God’s servant. He never saw it coming! It was business as usually but the day would end in his demise as the messenger delivers the unspoken message through power and demonstration of faith. If only we had such a tenacity when confronted with spiritual threats to strike back with God’s message instead of relying on the will of man. We instead post our status on social media for all to see, retract our silence, reluctant to speak out for righteousness sake. Our courage has faded into the night sky, our strength dried up, taken from underneath us because we lack in our boldness to speak God’s message with family, friends, and neighbors.
Afterward Ehud escapes the trenches and makes his way back into the camp, sounds the trumpet for battle and leads God’s people into victory over their enemies. All this because the man who people saw as physically incapable, out of the ordinary, one less likely not to succeed in life according to his peers, would speak and deliver Gods message. The old proverb goes that “silence is golden,” God says the power of life and death are in the tongue (Prov. 18:21), the world would say not to interfere but my God commands us to GO and make disciples (Mt. 28:19). The proclamation of God’s Word and the life-giving hope it brings needs able men and women of faith to get His message across for the whole world to hear.
Challenge Question: When was the last time you spoke Gods message of love to someone?
14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”