So my Sunday School class is trekking through the Old Testament right now, and we’re covering Moses, and in a few weeks we’ll be learning about Judges, and last time I went through I didn’t get the lesson up for everyone to read it, so I’m coming back now to rectify that mistake.
Who are Othneil, Ehud, and Shamgar?
I’ll admit when I was first designing our curriculum I left these judges out, I mean between the 3 of them, it’s what 15 verses, and Ehud’s section is just gross.
But then I heard a sermon that made me realize they are much more important than we realize.
These are the only three judges who do exactly what God wants and there’s no complaints, no bargaining, none of that. God says do it, and they do.
It’s also a great example of God using unusual people, and that’s what we focus on in this lesson.
When teaching this lesson and letting kids act it out, I let them use the 10 minute Bible costumes, of course I recently redid this lesson with my kids, and they made popsicle stick puppets, so it’s all in how you want to present it.
Othneil is the first judge mentioned, at the start of his story he’s old, like probably has bad arthritis and walks with a cane old, and yet God uses him to drive out the king of Aram, and Israel has peace for 40 years.
God can fight a mighty battle with an old man and win.
Ehud quite probably did not have use of his right hand, that’s the theory most Biblical scholars have come to, because being left-handed was unusual and it’s specifically pointed out he’s fighting with his left hand.
This story is also the favorite of every young boy I’ve ever met. The king is so fat, the sword is swallowed up by the fat from his body. Then to make it worse, after he dies a great stench is released and everyone makes bathroom jokes. This is comedy gold if you’re a 9 year old boy.
But, getting back to the point,
God can drive out the enemy with a crippled man.
Shamgar gets ONE verse. One verse, that’s it.
But he gets the job done, and sometimes that’s the big deal.
Yet he picks up an oxgoad (a glorified stick), and kills 600 Philistines.
God can slay our enemies even when we don’t know the details.
Why do I bring up this lesson?
Because all too often we make excuses, “God can’t use me because I’m not that good at ______” or “I’m too ________” or one I’ve heard several times, “God can’t use me because of my past.”
That last one I want to stand up on top of a table and scream “God can use you precisely BECAUSE of your past,” and then maybe start naming off all the seriously screwed up people God uses in the Bible and in history.
God can use anyone if we give him a chance.
And one last set of pictures of the kids as they rehearsed (this is from two years ago before our friends abandoned us and moved to South Carolina, ABANDONED!).
The next lesson is a bit more traditional and finds out about the first well known Judge: Deborah.