But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD,
the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh. Judges 3:15-16
We learn about Ehud in the third chapter of the Book of Judges. Ehud was on a mission chosen by God to end eighteen years of oppression upon the Israelite’s by the Moab king, Eglon. God heard and responded to His people’s cry for mercy.
Eglon’s time of judgment had come and Ehud was the man to orchestrate the plan. And indeed what a plan it was. We are given some interesting details surrounding Ehud’s plot and his subsequent escape from harm.
Our Mysterious Heart
But, this post is not about mysterious, left-handed assassins. However, it is about cloaked daggers. Specifically, the daggers lurking beneath the cloaks of our heart. And yes, if we are really honest with ourselves we must admit that they either have been there in the past or they are most likely there now.
You might say: “Sir, you are delirious and have no idea what you are talking about”. This blogger may not, but God’s Word and Jesus himself has a lot to say on this subject.
Let’s begin with the heart. We do not even know our heart and we call the Lord a liar if we think otherwise:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
And the Word shows us it is the fool who even attempts to conquer this uninhabitable and inhospitable terrain:
A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. Proverbs 18:2
Jesus zeroed in on this heart dilemma himself:
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. John 2:23-25
Jesus knows about the daggers lurking beneath the surface of our human cloaks. He demonstrated this several times in his earthly ministry. Another time is seen in his discernment of the cold daggers of ambition lying within his three closest disciples:
And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. Mark 9:33-34
The point is we have got to guard our hearts. We are living on enemy-occupied territory. The enemy is on a search-and-destroy mission to implant unholy things into the human heart. Does anyone listen to the news or read the headlines posted on any major news website?
Concealed Heart Weaponry
God does not want us to make catastrophic mistakes in our lives because of ugly things that may be harboring in our hearts. The following words are written by Peter. In a sense, they are Peter’s version of Paul’s writings regarding spiritual fruit in Galatians 5:22-23:
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. II Peter 1:5-9
But notice, these beautiful words were penned by a man who had previously harbored some of his very own cloaked daggers.
The Bible openly exposes Peter’s infamous denial of Jesus during his trial proceedings. To his surprise and shock Peter’s daggers of pride and feelings of shame towards the soon-to-be crucified Saviour are revealed. Was this not the man who said that he would never forsake the Lord?
But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. Mar 14:29-30
So much for Peter knowing his own heart!
We see more cloaked daggers in Peter even after his conversion at Pentecost. Here we have a scene recorded in the Book of Galatians where Peter is eating with a group of Gentile converts when James and a group of Jewish believers enter. Knowing the conflict about to ensue (the Jewish moral law forbidding eating with the unclean), Peter gets up and joins his Jewish compatriots.
His infectious action causes other Jewish believers in the room to do likewise. In this instance it is the Apostle Paul who confronts the cloaked dagger of hypocrisy lurking beneath Peter’s cloak:
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. Galatians 2:11 (read more Vs. 11-14).
The daggers are there lurking beneath our cloaks and when the opportunity arises we almost subconsciously and instinctively reach into those familiar coveted compartments to pull out our weapons of choice. What are those weapons? The following is a list from Jesus’ very own inventory of concealed heart weaponry:
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. Mark 7:20-23
We Have Hope
This post is not intended to be negative. If the man who preached the salvation message on the Day of Pentecost had some cloaked daggers, where does that leave you and me?
But, there is hope for all of us just by considering the example of Jesus’ front-man, the Apostle Peter. Peter overcame his problematic heart condition and became the person God called him to be. And He can do the same for you and for me!
“O’ God, search my heart and reveal in me any hidden daggers of self-righteousness, jealousy, hypocrisy, ungodly ambition, unforgiveness, lust or unrepentant anger I may have concealed beneath my cloak. And O’ my God, create in me a clean heart!”.