Lessons from Shamgar
So here is the situation around the story we are looking today. During this time period covered in the Book of Judges it was intended to be an era of advancement for God’s people. You see, by this time the Israelites should have been partying in the Promised Land but their inconsistency in obeying God and their idol worship if you remember led to what we describe today as an epic fail.
BUT the last verse in Chapter 3 of Judges we meet a man named Shamgar. What is cool about Shamgar is that there is just one sentence about him. In other words, we can learn about his story in like a couple of seconds. Yes, I said one sentence. But Shamgar has to be important because his story as brief as it is – is found in God’s Word.
Judges 3:31/After Ehud was Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down 600 Philistine men with an ox goad. He too saved Israel.
Hope you caught that because that is it my friends. But there is one more Shamgar sighting in Judges 5:6/After the days of Shamgar son of Anath, after the days of Jael the highways were abandoned, travelers took to winding paths.
Judges 5:6-8 describes the lack of public safety caused by these Philistine raids. "In the days of Shamgar son of Anath...the roads were abandoned; travelers took to roads less traveled." Verse 7 says, "...village life in Israel ceased..." And verse 8 continues, "...not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel."
So, these desperate circumstances motivated one man, Shamgar, to flip the script, to remedy the situation, to kick some Philistine arse! The Bible simply describes his valor - he "struck down six hundred Philistines with an ox goad."
Ox goad: 5 to 10 ft. piece of wood which was carved like a spear on one end and a chisel-like blade on the other end and around 2 inches in diameter.
So here are 3 points you and I can learn from today:
1. START WHERE YOU ARE - Shamgar was living in a time and place when his life and property, and the lives and property of his family and fellow countrymen were at the mercy of Philistine thieves and thugs and he said “I have had enough!” I am going to do something about it. He was fed up!
2. USE WHAT YOU HAVE - An ox goad. Shamgar didn’t have a sword or spear. But he didn’t need one.
We don’t need a lot of things we think we need in order to claim victory. Remember, you have Jesus and His Power.
3. DO WHAT YOU CAN - Defending himself against 600 Philistines with an ox goad definitely elevates Shamgar to a whole nutha’ level. Here is what I want you to see, It DOES NOT matter if he did it all at one time or on separate occasions. All that matters is that he did what he could.
“Victory does not always come immediately, many times there are steps and processes we have to go through to earn the victory!”
Because how often do we fail to make a contribution because we mistakenly conclude that our contribution won’t matter? Jesus taught us that even a cup of cold water given in His name is significant.
Mark 9:41/ For I tell you truly, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to and bear the name of Christ will by no means fail to get his reward.
Start something, Use something, Do something...