Strength in Weakness

Strength in Weakness

Ehud is described in most Bible translations as simply being left handed (Judges 3:15). However, scholars suggest that the original Hebrew phrase used literally means “shut up in his right hand“.

Evidently his right hand was damaged in some way that made him unable to use it properly. Unfortunately it is likely that, in his day, this would have made him subject to ridicule and contempt.  Certainly as we look closer at the story of Ehud, it is clear many people expected little from him.

Even among the Israelites themselves he was an unlikely candidate for leadership. The bible describes the right hand as the hand with which important blessings are given (Genesis 48:18). It is also described as the hand which God uses to defeat Israel’s enemies (Exodus 15:6 and 12). It may have seemed odd to the Israelites that God would send a man, who was unable to use his right hand, to deliver them from their oppressors.

However because Ehud was so widely viewed by society as incapable, it made him the only Israelite who could be awarded a private audience with the oppressive Moabite king, without arousing suspicion (Judges 3:19). So Ehud was sent to King Eglon with a tribute from the Israelites.

Right-handed people would have strapped their sword to their left thigh. So when the guards searched visitors for weapons before entering the Kings room, they would have searched the left thigh. Of course, being left handed Ehud would have strapped his sword to his right thigh (Judges 3:16). Because the guards assumed so little of him they didn’t even bother to check the right thigh.

Ehud then convinced King Eglon to dismiss everyone from the room, in order to share a “secret message” with him (Judges 3:19). In gory detail – who said the Bible was a dull book? – we are told how Ehud thrust his sword into the king’s large stomach, ending his life (Judges 3:21-22).

Before anyone knows what has happened, Ehud flees. He drums up an army and immediately goes into battle with the Moabites. Israel emerges victorious, freeing themselves from a tyrannical oppressor, and peace is secured for 80 years.

Given the culture of his day, which abhorred physical weakness, Ehud was unlikely ever to be chosen as a leader. However, whilst others may not have chosen him, God did. God took Ehud’s physical weakness and turned it into great strength. His disability (literally) opened doors for him that would have stayed shut for others. It opened the door to the King’s chambers, no less!

Whatever physical ailments may be plaguing you today, know that God does not just work in spite of our struggles. He can also work through them. The struggles we face today may open doors for us tomorrow.

When Jesus hung on that cross His body was weak. But through his sacrifice he opened the greatest door ever to be shut – the very gateway to heaven and the immediate presence of God himself. 

As he did in Ehud’s day, and as through Jesus death on the cross, still God confounds our expectations, by taking that which seems unlikely and demonstrating his matchless power through it (2 Corinthians 12:9).  

Pasta bake

I was taught this recipe by a kind lady who opened her door to me, and put me up for a few months when I moved cities prior to getting married.  

Whilst I’ve learnt many recipes since, I come back to this one over and over again because it is quick, healthy and all the kids enjoy it.

It can be served immediately, but by turning it into a pasta bake you can pre-prepare it whenever in the day you find time to cook.

Creamy Pasta Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 rashers bacon
  • 2 large leeks thinly sliced
  • 8 large mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 300 ml crème fraîche
  • 400 g tagatelli pasta use penne or fussili if making a pasta bake
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Put on a pan of salted water to boil while you chop your ingredients

  2. Fry the bacon until crispy
  3. Add the leeks, fry for 1 minute and put pasta into boiling water to cook according to pack instructions.
  4. Add mushrooms and fry till cooked
  5. Turn the heat down low and add the crème fraiche along with black pepper to taste.
  6. Drain the pasta, retaining 1 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to add to the sauce.

  7. Mix the pasta and reserved cooking liquid through the sauce and serve with parmasan.

  8. Alternatively place the pasta in a casserole dish, grate cheese on top and cover till ready to cook.
  9. Place in a preheated oven at 180C for 20-30 minutes until heated through and golden brown on top.
  10. Serve with sweet corn, salad and garlic bread if you like

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *