“How To Become a Hitman” – When Exemplary Preaching Doesn’t WorkFebruary 7, 2011
Ehud. What do we do with him?
A left handed assassin, who uses not a little trickery to wangle a private audience with a foreign despot. Alone with the unsuspecting monarch, Ehud plunges the dagger into the king’s fat belly.
- “How to become a hitman in 5 easy steps.”
- “Guard evasion 101.”
- “How to craft short swords.”
Silly isn’t it? Yet how many other Old Testament characters do we preach in precisely this way? “Joseph resisted temptation and so should we.” “Daniel prayed three times daily, and so should we.”
Of course, it all works fine so long as the biblical characters are playing nice. But then we come to Ehud.
I’m not saying that there can never be an exemplary value in Old Testament characters. But perhaps we are always on safer ground when we ask “what is God doing?” in the narrative, rather than assuming that the primary value of texts is in the human characters.
I might be wrong, but I think the main point we’re meant to derive from Ehud is theological. God saves his people on the one hand, and judges his enemies on the other.
In itself, the assassination is besides the point.