Your Life In 500 Words…Or Less

If someone was to summarize your life in five-hundred words or less, what would they write? If the entire landscape of your life – your accomplishments, your spiritual highs and lows, your character traits – was boiled down to one page, what would be included? One thing is certain: every word would count.

The same is true of so many of the characters found in scripture. An entire life is stripped down to a few pages, or paragraphs, or sentences. Centuries occur between commas, and kingdoms rise and fall between semi-colons. With so much life crammed into so little space, every word, every phrase, every character trait highlighted is pulsing with importance.

Take Ehud for example. In Judges 3:15 we read:

Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man.

Don’t you find it odd that the author of Judges goes out of his way to point out that Ehud was left-handed? Of all the things that could have been said about Ehud, the author chooses to mention that he was a south paw. Why?

Or what about in Judges 15:15 when we read of Samson:

And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men.

We see Samson on a rampage, slaughtering thousands with a fresh jawbone. A bit odd, yes. But the real question is, why the specific mention of the jawbone? Is it just another interesting fact? I don’t think so. Remember, this is a man’s life condensed into a few juicy paragraphs. Every word counts.

Two simple things to learn. First, let’s pay close attention to the little details of scripture, because they matter…a lot. Second, let’s all go out and buy an ESV Study Bible so we can figure out why Ehud was left-handed and why Samson preferred to fight with bones.

Comments

  1. Josh C. says

    Hey, I know why Ehud was left-handed!

    Ehud went into Moab and was able to kill the king of that country, Eglon. The reason for the killing is that the Israelites were being ruled by the Moabites, so Ehud was sent by God as a deliverer. Here’s where the left-handedness plays out: in most courts, anyone asking to deliver a message to the kng (as Ehud asked to do), they were checked to make sure they weren’t hiding weapons. Unfortunately for Eglon, the custom was to check the left side of the person, as most people were (and still are) right-handed. Thus, the Moabite attendees didn’t even bother to check Ehud’s right side, as they assumed he was right-handed. Too bad for the king that Ehud was part of the minority.

    If you want a good song to sum up the story in a silly way, check out the ApologetiX’s “Plump”. http://www.apologetix.com/music/album.php?id=8

  2. says

    I was with you until you started plugging a product. The Scofield Bible was heralded by many, yet it’s weaknesses have left us generations of misled Christians. What happened to the power of Scripture without notes and explanations in the margin? I say the same thing about other study Bibles, so don’t take it personally, but I’m not sure the average person can always keep the line clear between the commentary of men and the Word of God.

  3. says

    Being Left handed myself Ehud’s one of my bible heroes! I agree with the first post they didn’t search his right side because his sword should have been on the left side (incidentally I believe that is why we shake hands with our right hand , to show we are unarmed).

    I wrote a musical exposition of the Eglon/Ehud story based on the ESV text which you can hear on my site (http://www.hemustincrease.com/profile/MattBlick). I hope it will minister seeply to your inner man.

  4. Stephen Altrogge says

    Jon – I somewhat agree with you. I think that the ESV Study Bible can be a tremendous resource as long as people treat the study notes as just that – study notes. They serve as valuable insight by godly men, not inspired scripture. They are a valuable tool, but not to be accepted without question.

    Thanks for your comment.

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