Acomb Baptist Church

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Last updated 1.20pm Sunday 21 April 2024.

Sunday 21 April 2024

Weekly Sheet

The Weekly Sheet (21/04/2024) is available to download as are the sermon notes (which are also repeated below).

1.20pm Audio Recordings available.

Weekly Sheet Pg 1

Weekly Sheet Pg 2

Weekly Sheet Pg 3

Weekly Sheet Pg 4

Join the Zoom meeting from 10.15am ready for the service start at 10.30am.

Sermon Notes


Judges 3 v. 12-30

This morning, we continue our look at the book of Judges, tackling the second judge of Israel – Ehud. His story contains some interesting stuff and some rather unusual plot twists and bizarre details. However, there’s still a lot we can draw from his story. Besides how to kill a very fat king and escape a room via the latrine.


Cycle of Judges

Verses 12-15

As Ehud’s story opens, we’re reminded of the cycle that we see repeating over and over in Judges. God’s people rebel, God delivers them into the hands of an enemy, God’s people realise the error of their ways and they cry out to God in desperation. God appoints a judge to save them, the judge defeats the Israelites’ oppressor, there is peace in the land for a time, the judge dies and so it repeats. Othniel, as Rob spoke about last week, rescued God’s people from the King of Aram. He then helped keep the peace among God’s people until he died.

It is just after Othniel’s death that we join the narrative in verse 12 of Judges 3. God’s people once again fall away from God and, this time, God delivers them into the hands of King Eglon of Moab, who fights with the Moabites, Ammonites and Amalekites.

Both the Moabites and the Ammonites are descended from Abraham’s nephew, Lot (see Genesis 19:36-38). In Deuteronomy 25:17-19, we see that the Amalekites were longtime enemies of Israel. King Eglon gathers all these enemies of Israel together and he leads them into Jericho. He rules the Israelites for 18 years before God’s people cry out to Him.

When they eventually do, God chooses to raise up Ehud to save them.



Verses 16, 21-22

We are told three things about him: he is the son of Gera; he is a left-handed man and he is from the tribe of Benjamin. There may a little bit of irony employed here as Ehud is introduced, as the name Benjamin literally means ‘son of the right hand’.

But Ehud’s left-handedness is significant. In the culture of the time, being left-handed was discouraged and some even saw it as a sign of evil. The right hand is always spoken about in a positive light. In Exodus 15 v. 6, for example, Moses sings in his song of deliverance: ‘Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in power. Your right hand, O Lord, smashes the enemy.’ The right hand was a symbol of power and ability.

Some scholars believe that Ehud may have been ambidextrous, and there are others that feel the original Hebrew suggests his right hand was somehow damaged or paralysed. It may just be he was unusual for the day and truly left-handed. But, however you look at it, we are told of Ehud’s left-handedness for a reason, and it plays quite a large part in his rescue plan.

Ehud fashions a small sword or a dagger and conceals it on his person as he brings tribute money to King Eglon. The dagger was small enough for him to strap to his thigh and he would have placed it on his right thigh to draw it with his left hand. It was normal for soldiers to carry their swords and weapons on their left side, as it made them easier to draw. When Ehud entered the king’s presence, waiting for a moment where he might be alone with the king, the guards would have checked that the men were not carrying weapons, but would not have thought to check the right side!

When Ehud is with the king for the second time, after turning back to deliver a ‘secret message’, he is alone and trusted. He seizes his moment and kills the king in a rather dramatic and unpleasant manner. It is perhaps the thing that may have made him perhaps seen as less by many – his preference or ability to use his left hand – that actually makes him uniquely able to carry out this plot.


He Stood Alone

Verses 18-23

The final thing to note, as we continue Ehud’s story, is that his campaign as judge, unlike Othniel and many of the other judges, began not backed by an army of Israelites, but on his own. He comes before the king alone, with just a dagger and a plan. His rescue work for the Israelites is only backed up by an army once we reach verse 27.

The king is already dead at his hands and only now does Ehud sound a call to arms and lead a band of Israelites down from the hills to defeat Moab. He leads them into battle, and they are victorious. This victory leads to a new, and rather long period of peace for the Israelites.


So What?

So, what can we learn from the story of Ehud now? It is God’s Word, useful for teaching, so what is God teaching us here?


Cycle of Sin

Firstly, as with all the judges, we should pay attention to the cycle of sin that the Israelites fall into time and again. It is easy to scoff or to look at the Israelites of the Old Testament and think,’ will they never learn?’ Yet, we see the same cycle of sin in our own lives. Time and again, we allow our own sin, or the world around us to entice us and take our eyes off Jesus. We look to ourselves and suddenly we find that we are not ruled by the Moabites, but by our own selves. Or by our habitual sins. Or by something we have placed as an idol in our lives.

The good news is that, just like the Israelites of old, when we recognise our brokenness and our slavery, we can cry out to God. He, being faithful and gracious, will hear us and come to our rescue.



How many of us have said these words, or something similar: “God could never use me. I don’t have any gifts He can use.”? Often, we can see ourselves as less than what God created us to be. Ehud’s gift was not only something that we might not consider a ‘gift’ at all, but it was also something that may very well have made him despised or dejected in the culture of his time.

His left-handedness may not have seemed like an important gift to him, but it was vital to God. It was essential for the plan to work. We should learn here that there is no gift too small or too unusual that God cannot use it to further His kingdom. He is able to use anything for His good and even those things that perhaps we hate about ourselves are the very things that could change the course of history. Maybe not world history, but perhaps the history of a family member or friend.


Parallels with Christ

And finally, as we look to the rather bizarre story of Ehud, we are able to see parallels between this rather unlikely judge, and another unlikely deliverer. In Isaiah 53, we are reminded that Jesus was not considered particularly important in his time. He did not possess physical qualities that would draw people to Him. He also provided rescue in an entirely unexpected way.

The same verses go on to remind us that despite Jesus being an unlikely deliverer, he did indeed fulfil God’s ultimate plan. He paid the price for sin, defeating both it and death. Not in the way that the world expected, but certainly in the way that God planned. He too, like Ehud, had to fulfil this plan alone.

“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

~ Isaiah 53 v. 4-6

What Ehud should teach us, and the parallels we see of the life of Christ, is that when we walk in God’s will, He can use us in unexpected ways. We may sometimes have to walk alone, but we can be sure that it will be worth it.


‘My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn't think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families. But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.

What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important. God did all this to keep anyone from bragging to him. You are God's children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy. So if you want to brag, do what the Scriptures say and brag about the Lord.’

1 Corinthians 1 v.26-31

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Jim Harries Jim Harries' mid-April news is available on his website.

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April-May 2024 Newsletter

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April-May 2024 Newsletter Cover

Jim Harries - End March News

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Jim Harries - Mid March News

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Audio recording available. Video recordings available on YouTube.

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February - March 2024 Newsletter

The February-March 2024 Newsletter is available to download now. (Updated 11.45pm Friday 26 January 2024.)

Feb-Mar 2024 Newsletter Cover

25 December 2023 - Happy Christmas!

Christmas Day Service - 10am

4pm Audio recordings available.

Friday 6 October 2023

Steve Crowther's Service of Thanksgiving


Steve Crowther

Audio recording is available to listen to here.

Thursday 28 September 2023

Elaine Harness's Funeral

Elaine's funeral is being held today at ABC at 2.30pm followed by the committal  at the crematorium at 3.40pm.

The audio recording is available to listen to here.

Tuesday 12 September 2023

Latest News from Mark and Andrea


Is available on-line here.

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Autumn Home Group Study Material

 Is available to download. Also available, one with larger text.

 Home Group Study Notes Cover Autumn 2023

Friday 2 June 2023

Ten Commandments Home Group Study Notes - Part 2

Available to download.

Home Group Study Notes Cover

Sunday 28 May 2023

Jim Harries' Latest News

Jim Harries Jim Harries' latest news is available to download.

World cultures

Contains a link to this video which visually explains the need for the use of indigenous languages as a part of enabling African people to make sense of their own lives with respect to the Gospel of Jesus.

Wednesday 24 May 2023

York Gospels

New page added showing the hand-written York Gospels.