The Book of Judges Chapter 3 tells the story of one of Israel’s judges who was left-handed. His name was Ehud and his unique characteristic was considered an exceptional asset in those days. At this point in Israel’s history they are being controlled by the evil King Eglon of Moab. Ehud is appointed by God to rescue Israel by killing this king. Ehud goes to visit the king with a double-edged dagger hidden it in his right boot, knowing that the king’s bodyguards would be searching the left side of the king’s visitors. Everything goes according to plan but Ehud loses his nerve and leaves the palace discouraged and defeated.
On his way home, Ehud passes what Judges calls “the stone idols”. These stone idols were actually an historical landmark for Israel. They were the 12 stones that God had instructed Joshua to be brought out of the dry riverbed of the Jordan River after the Israelites had crossed into the Promised Land. (Joshua 4). The stones were to be a reminder of God’s covenant with Israel and were to “stand as a memorial among the people forever” (Jos. 4:7). But the Jews had forgotten about the memorial and over time the memorial had been reduced to a pile of stones that travelers passed by with no notice.
But on this day, Ehud notices them. And he remembers. He remembers God’s promises. He remembers his calling and the purpose for which he was sent. He goes back to Moab and asks to see the king, telling him he has a secret message for him. The king ushers him in and Ehud does something for God that no right-handed man could do. He kills the Moabite king.
God used Joshua’s landmark to remind Ehud of his purpose. God use landmarks in our lives as well. We all have those landmark moments when God rescues us or empowers us with His Spirit to fulfill a unique calling. As you look forward to a New Year, remember that God had called you and gifted you for His purpose. Don’t let your landmarks become a pile of stones but keep them as memorial and testimony to the power of God in your life.