Templar Knights? – Check. A group of assassin’s who promote peace on earth through selective violence? – Check. Real world locations, actual historical figures, and a sharp blade in the place of my character’s amputated finger? – Check, check, and a big fat check-a-roo. I sat down in front of Assassin’s Creed and jumped into the shoes of an acrobatic, highly skilled death dealer who also happens to be saving humanity from tyranny through each assassination contract completed. The beauty of the game is that I am no mere murderer – oh no… I am tasked with the elimination of only the critical characters in history that would do harm to others on a grander scale, so in a way I am a hitman who aims to rid the world of violence through proactive prevention. Somebody just put paradox in my peanut butter.
|We are commanded to turn the other cheek, right?|
As I continued to play, I found it disturbing that I could actually identify with this concept, especially as a Christian. I mean, we are commanded to simply turn the other cheek, right? Pray and wait for God to sort it out? Could a book as old as the Bible be able to relate to me and this issue, right here in this day and age, while I hold a controller in my hand playing a video game? Surely I am in uncharted waters. But to my surprise, not only does the Bible have much to say on the subject, but I found that an even more remarkable tale took place many thousands of years prior to the fictional accounts of my video game protagonist, in the Biblical book of Judges. Enter the Animus with me…
Here in Judges, we have the story of a man chosen by God to be an assassin. Yes, you read that right. Before you gasp in shock at this notion, read Judges 3:14-15. We find the nation of Israel in servitude to Eglon, the evil king of Moab. They had been in this position for eighteen years, due to their failure to follow a protective covenant they had agreed to with God. When they finally reached the point where they were prepared to ask for God’s help, God had an answer – an assassin named Ehud.
|The chosen assassin to deliver the nation is a man with a disability…|
There is an interesting notation about this particular assassin, however – Ehud is described as a man with a disabled right hand. Surprised to hear that the chosen assassin to deliver the nation is a man with a disability? You shouldn’t be – 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that God’s strength is most powerful in our weaknesses, meaning that the tools that can be used most perfectly in God’s plans are those that are weak and contemptible in the eyes of others. Consider 1 Corinthians 1:27-28- God has chosen those considered foolish in this world to show up the wise, and those perceived as weak in this world to defeat the mighty. A powerful message here exists for those that feel they cannot be used by God – God can (and HAS) used everything from a disabled man (Ehud), a murderer (Moses), a prostitute (Rahab), an adulterer (David), and even a donkey (unfortunately the donkey chose not to be credited by name) to do His will!! He will use you too – the choice is yours.
So back to Ehud – we find this man in an act of subterfuge that would fit right in with the world of Assassin’s Creed, creating a double-sided dagger that was small enough to be concealed; about 18 inches long, and strapped it to his right thigh. Why is this significant? Because weapons in that time period were typically carried on the LEFT SIDE of the body, as most soldiers were right-handed. When a search was performed for weapons before approaching the king, undoubtedly this would bypass their notice, and combined with his unassuming appearance due to his crippled hand he would appear not to present a threat. What a perfect assassin! So we have his weapon of choice and his method of concealment – so now how will he get the king alone long enough to fulfill the contract?
Altair, Ezio, and their like have nothing on Ehud – the cover Ehud has chosen is to blend in with his countrymen who were traveling to offer the tribute owed to the king. This will assure him easy access to his target, the greedy king of Moab, who is quaintly described in verse 16 as a “very fat man”. The Bible doesn’t mince words, does it? So imagine this picture – sitting in opulence is this obese king, rich from the taxes he imposes on the countries he rules. Ehud, this disabled representative of no particular notoriety uses cunning to bypass the security measures of the king’s security detail, sneaking a dagger into the king’s chambers. After presenting the tribute money, he informs the king he has a secret message. And what is this king’s response? His arrogance knows no bounds as the king sends his protectors out of the room – the ruse this assassin is perpetrating has worked perfectly! His threat going unperceived, Ehud informs the king that he is carrying a message from the God of his people.
|His assassination contract from God was complete…|
Unfortunately for the king, Ehud gets straight to the “point” of his message quickly and quite literally. When the king stands to hear the “message”, Ehud produces the dagger and using one fluid motion that would make Ezio proud he drives it straight into the portly stomach of the stunned and defenseless king. The Bible is quite descriptive in this sudden, violent act – Ehud’s weapon is cleverly designed for penetration, and the blade disappears into the king’s body and remains there, leaving no evidence for Ehud to discard and no mess to clean up. His assassination contract from God complete, Ehud creates a cover by leaving the king in a private chamber and shutting and locking the doors behind him, leaving the servants to believe the king was going to the bathroom! This gave Ehud the needed time to escape, and when the servants tired of waiting they unlocked the doors expecting to find their king on his “porcelain throne”, only to realize Eglon had been DE-THRONED – permanently!
|From a man disabled to an assassin ENABLED|
So now to the closing cinematic – The final result of Ehud’s efforts was a successful war with the Moabite army, leading the Israeli army in slaughtering 10,000 Moabite soldiers and bringing 80 years of peace to his people through his one singular act of violence. As we come full circle on this assassin’s story, we realize that God has a unique plan for each of our lives, not based on what we perceive as our weaknesses and disabilities, but on the opportunities those very weaknesses create for amazing accomplishments we could never imagine! Ehud went from a man disabled to an assassin ENABLED all because he chose to be the weapon God had fashioned him to be. There was never anything wrong with Ehud – and there isn’t anything wrong with you either. You were uniquely created to serve a purpose only YOU can fulfill!
Don’t spend another moment of your life wishing you were made different than what you are, or believing the lie that you will never be more than what you are now. You are perfectly designed for purposes that you will not understand until you accept God’s contract for YOU. As the fictional characters Altair and Ezio, as well as the real life assassin Ehud learned, their lives found fulfillment once they accepted their purpose and acted on it. A life of true purpose and fulfillment for you is one decision away!