Throughout our Broken Heroes series, we’re reading stories of flawed and broken humans that God still used to do amazing things. This week, we read the story of Ehud and saw how our flaws don’t get in the way of God’s plans.

Read Judges 3.15–22.

Just like in last week’s story about Othniel, the Israelites made choices that eventually led to them being ruled by a harsh king. The Israelites cried out to God and He provided them with a deliverer in the most unlikely person: Ehud. The story of Ehud’s life provides us with a couple of key observations about God and how He chooses to use us.

1. God determines the plans and outcomes of our life.

The text tells us the Israel cried out and the Lord gave them a deliverer. God is exercising His sovereignty: His ability to do exactly what He wants, when He wants, and how He wants. By choosing to be used by God, Ehud shows extreme humility as he submits to God’s plans and God’s plans only.

This can often lead to tension for us. We might know what God is calling us to do, but our timeline might be very different. It’s not enough to simply spring into action, we have to wait on God’s sovereign timing. There are a few things we can do while we wait:

Don’t forget your God-inspired vision. (Luke 2.19)

Mary didn’t understand God’s plan right away, but she continued to process through and thank God for what He was doing through her life. If God gives you a glimpse of your calling and purpose, don’t forget it! Hold onto it even as you wait on His timing.

Be faithful to do what’s right and needed. (James 4.17)

Waiting is not a call to inactivity. Even though we may be in a season of waiting, we are still able to serve our community and those who may be struggling around us. Find a ministry to volunteer with, serve on a ministry team at Engedi, or talk to your CABLE Group about how you can serve some of Holland’s needs together.

2. Deficits do not stymie God’s plans.

The text describes Ehud as a “left-handed man.” The original Hebrew phrase means that Ehud was bound or restricted in his right hand; he was living with a physical handicap. In the Israelite culture of the time, this was regarded as a defect, something that was cause for social marginalization and isolation.

But Ehud was also a Benjamite and a strong warrior. This is true of us: we are walking contradictions. We can be both courageous and cowardly at times, both intelligent and goofy or irrational, both compassionate and sometimes callous. But God still chooses to use us to carry out His purpose to shine a light on His ultimate strength and power.

One of the best ways to do this is to be honest and boast in our weakness. That’s not to say that we should broadcast our shortcomings all over social media, but we should be honest about our struggles with authentic, biblical community. It’s in this kind of community where our struggles can be overcome and where we can be held accountable.

Our deficits can be overcome through the work of God and only God. Our deficits don’t stymie God’s plan, they shed light on His power and sovereignty. When we recognize our own weakness and rest in God’s strength, we have a front-row seat to the work God chooses to do through us.

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you have a God-given vision for your life? If you do, are you waiting on His timing or are you trying to accomplish it in your own timeline? If you don’t, spend intentional time in prayer asking God to reveal His vision for you.
  2. How are you serving the needs you see around you? How has serving helped you discover even more of God’s vision? If you aren’t currently serving, what’s holding you back?
  3. What are some of your shortcomings or deficits that you feel could hinder God’s plans? Do you have a community to share these struggles with?
  4. Reflect back on times when God has accomplished something in your life in spite of your perceived deficits. How can you use that as encouragement as in your current circumstances?