God sent a man to do the messy work of stopping oppression
“After Ehud brought the tribute payment, he dismissed the people who had carried it. But he went back once he reached the carved images at Gilgal.
He said to Eglon, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” Eglon said, “Be quiet!” All his attendants left. When Ehud approached him, he was sitting in his well-ventilated upper room all by himself.
Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” When Eglon rose up from his seat, Ehud reached with his left hand, pulled the sword from his right thigh, and drove it into Eglon’s belly. The handle went in after the blade, and the fat closed around the blade, for Ehud did not pull the sword out of his belly.
[here the ESV says “and the dung came out.”]
As Ehud went out into the vestibule, he closed the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.
When Ehud had left, Eglon’s servants came and saw the locked doors of the upper room. They said, “He must be relieving himself in the well-ventilated inner room.”
They waited so long they were embarrassed, but he still did not open the doors of the upper room. Finally they took the key and opened the doors.
Right before their eyes was their master, sprawled out dead on the floor!
Now Ehud had escaped while they were delaying. When he passed the carved images, he escaped to Seirah.”
Well, you can’t say they didn’t give you enough details.
Ehud took all of the time to craft a double-edged, left-handed, fore-arm long sword, and then left it behind in that guy’s belly! It was a violent time and status was earned by being strong and cunning. After Ehud killed Eglon, he rallied Israel back together and after their initial uprising against the Moabites, they had peace for 80 years.
Change and transition are messy sometimes. Sometimes it’s as rough as a — well, I’ll let you read again how messy and rough it can be up there in that scripture portion. The thing is, the people that didn’t want the change, the people guarding the old status quo (King Eglon) didn’t even know the change had happened. They were embarrassed and ashamed once they noticed it.
Being fat in the Bible is a judge of character, not just a physical condition. There are plenty of large people in the Bible. There have been the same physical/medical conditions for thousands of years. But when the Bible specifically points out someone as being fat, it is also representing something. As the people of Israel were working hard to survive, they were paying tribute to Eglon. Eglon was getting fat off of the hard work of the Israelites. Basically they were working hard to feed themselves while he sat around and ate all of their food, got fat, and pooped all day.
So when Ehud kills Eglon (can you tell I’m trying to help you out with some Bible trivia here?) the emphasis is put on how fat, or how oppressively evil, Eglon was. And when all of the poop came out, it was him losing all that he had taken from Israel. His rule didn’t amount to anything but a pile of poo.
God is always on the side of the oppressed, and He promised that all of those shamed and beaten down would someday feast with Him while their enemies watch. The works of evil people are just like giving birth to the wind (yep, Isaiah 26:18). The alternative is to follow Jesus and watch His words come true:
“go and bear fruit that will last” – Jesus in John 15:16