Judges 3:28-30 “Follow me,” [Ehud] ordered, “for the LORD has given Moab, your enemy, into your hands.” So they followed him down and, taking possession of the fords of the Jordan that led to Moab, they allowed no-one to cross over. At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not a man escaped. That day Moab was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace for eighty years.
What a contrast we see here between the outworkings of God’s Providence and his self-revelation in the OT dispensation on the one hand, and what he achieved for his people through the Lord Jesus Christ in the NT dispensation on the other hand!
The LORD’s Chosen People, Israel, had been firmly established in their Promised Land, but because of their persistent apostasy and disobedience they had been suffering the cruel tyranny of Eglon, King of Moab, for 18 years. They cried out in great distress for the LORD’s mercy, and, as he had done before and would do again many more times over the next few centuries, he raised up for them a Deliverer (Hebrew: ’Saviour’, from which the names ‘Joshua’, ‘Isaiah’, ‘Jesus’, etc, are derived).
In this case, the ‘Deliverer’ was Ehud, who used his cunning and the surprise element of his left-handedness to kill Eglon (15-23). The death of their King rendered the Moabite warriors powerless against Israel and the LORD brought in for them 80 years of peace (until the next time their apostasy led to the next phase of the repetitive cycle throughout Judges!).
How this contrasts with the coming of the true Deliverer to whom all this points. The wicked, underhand, ‘clandestine’ death of our King Jesus, instead of rendering us powerless, rather emboldens us to go out into a hostile world to bring it into subjection to him … and that, not by killing them, but by telling them of his life-giving gospel based on his death and resurrection on behalf of sinners! And, what Jesus has done for us his enemies, is offered to all who turn to him in repentance-and-faith – not just ‘peace for eighty years’, but peace for all eternity!
– Bruce Christian