Tag Archives: Ehud

Bible Stories for Boys: Say Shibboleth

The Brick Testament made another appearance at church this morning. Last week’s story about Ehud the Ninja was always going to be hard to top. I went with another story from Judges (the one just after my least favourite story in the Bible).

Jephthah did something silly – but then he kind of redeemed himself a little, teaching a rogue tribe of Israel a lesson in the process. Jephthah was like a secret agent. Because all secret agents have passwords. It’s how they identify themselves to their helpers and friends in foreign countries.

As an aside – has anybody else noticed that the story of Jephthah and his daughter is exactly the same storyline as the Beauty and the Beast, and that he’s essentially Robin Hood.

Here’s the talk.

Today we’re going to learn about a guy who was a bit like a spy. A secret agent. Who here wants to be a spy when they grow up? Does anybody know about any spies?

Today we’re going to learn a story about a man named Jephthah. He was the leader of Israel a little while after Ehud.

Jephthah went off to fight some of the enemies of Israel – called the Ammonites – but one group of Israelites – didn’t help with the battle. And then they got angry at Jephthah and decided to fight him…

So Jepthath and the army of Israel fought against the Ephraimites.

And they drove them all the way to a river. The Ephraimites couldn’t beat Israel so some of them ran away.

Later, some of the survivors came back to the battlefield and tried to cross the river. But Jephthah, being a clever secret agent, came up with a plan to stop any of the Ephraimites escaping.

Ephraimites had different accents to the people from Israel. They were a bit like people from New Zealand and us. Have you ever heard a New Zealander say “fish and chips”. It sounds a bit different to how we say it. Well, there was a word that the Israelites said differently to the Ephraimites. Shibboleth. So Jephthah made that word the password. And he told his men at the river to check how people wanting to get past said the word.

And the Ephraimites couldn’t do it.

And when they couldn’t do it the Israelite “secret agents” judged them, and killed them.

We’re a bit like the Israelites. And Jesus is a bit like a secret agent. See, one day, God is going to judge the whole world. A bit like Jephthah judged the Ephraimites. And we have a password – a bit like Shibboleth – a password that God uses to sort people out.

Our password is Jesus. The Bible says that anybody who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved. Anybody who calls Jesus Lord. And only God’s people can do that. People who aren’t God’s people will be like the Ephraimites – they’ll be in trouble.

And do you know – that if you like people, and you want them to be part of God’s family – all they need is the password. They need to know that Jesus died for us, and them too. And because he died for us – we know the secret password.

The End.

Bible Stories for Boys: Ehud the Left Handed

For the next three Sundays at Willows Presbyterian the “kids spot” is going to be filled with my favourite stories from the Bible.

I’m kicking it off with Ehud and the Moabites. Ehud is cool because he’s disabled (left handed) and a ninja. I’m going to use Brick Testament pictures.

In the Bible there’s a book called Judges.

It’s about some people God uses to save his people from their enemies.

They’re not special people – most of them are normal people, just like us.

In fact – some of them weren’t even normal – one of them was left handed – are any of you left handed?

His name was Ehud. Being left handed wasn’t much fun. He was different to the other soldiers in Israel’s army.

When Ehud was a young man Israel was being treated very, very badly by a very, very, very fat king called Eglon. Eglon demanded that the Israelites pay him lots of money so that he wouldn’t do nasty things to them.

Ehud and the Israelites didn’t want to serve this king – they wanted God as their king – so Ehud came up with a plan.

He made a short sword and put it on his right thigh under his cloak – because in those days guards didn’t expect to see many left handed people they only really looked on the right.

He marched in to see fat king Eglon with the payment from the Israelites…

…and he told him that he had a secret for his ears only.

The bad King Eglon sent his people out of the room.

And Ehud took out the sword – and buried it in his tummy.

King Eglon was so fat that the sword disappeared.

And Ehud snuck away. Like a ninja.

The guards thought the king was in the toilet – so they didn’t disturb him.

Ehud got back to the Israelites and they attacked the fat dead king Eglon’s army and killed them all. They were free from the bad king Eglon and free to serve God – their king.

Ehud had saved God’s people – even though he was left handed.

The Jesus bit

We are a bit like Israel – we need God’s “judge” to save us from a bad king that’s ruling our lives. We are being ruled by our sin. We want to push God to the side and treat sin as the fat ugly king of our lives.

We need to get rid of this fat ugly king just like Ehud did. And you know what – we have a ninja savior too. Jesus is a bit like a ninja. He dealt with sin in a sneaky way. People were expecting a strong and powerful saviour who would come and kill sin.

Do you know how Jesus got rid of our sin?

This was something a ninja would do. It was sneaky – because people weren’t expecting it. And it was effective.

We need to stab sin in the heart. In fact, the Bible says that if we want to follow God we should cut the sinful parts out. It doesn’t mean
with a sword.

We need our own saviour to cut that sin out – we need Jesus.