(Judg. 3:20-26) Was this knife to the stomach really a message from God (c.f. Judge 4:21)?

CLAIM: Ehud –the judge- was raised up by God (Judg. 3:15), and he savagely killed King Eglon of Moab, by thrusting a knife into his fat belly. Ehud claimed that this was a message from God (Judg. 3:20). How can this Mafioso-styled assassination be a message from God?

RESPONSE: Not everything contained in the Bible is God’s moral will. For instance, the Bible contains stories about gang rape of both women (Judg. 19) and men (Gen. 19). The Bible also contains Satan’s lies (Gen. 3:4-5). The Bible is a very realistic book, describing graphic content. However, description is not the same as prescription. It could be that God raised Ehud up to assassinate this Moabite king, but the text simply doesn’t say. While God did raise up Ehud, this doesn’t mean he prescribed everything that he chose to do. Otherwise, we would have to believe that God makes people sinless at the moment he decides to use them. In addition, this Moabite king was far from innocent. He was a cruel dictator that had forced his way into Israel to take them over. Many people today have no problem with assassinating dictators, who abuse their power.