Fight with what you’ve got!
Here we are introduced to our third Judge of Israel. This description is short and sweet and to the point.
And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.
We see the triumphal victory over Mesopotamia with Othniel; a perfect victory. We then learned of Ehud, our left-handed man who surprised even the wealthiest of Kings. Now in one verse we are introduced to Shamgar. Shamgar gets one whole verse to describe his story and great deliverance of Israel.
Shamgar is the son of Anath. That is all we know about this man. We don’t know his family line, we don’t know Israel’s sin cycle. All we can gather from this verse is that Israel was in need of deliverance from the Philistines. God raises up Shamgar who slays 600 men with an ox goad.
An ox goad was a spear like tool used to herd cattle and aid in pulling a plow. These were common instruments that were not removed by the enemy. In 1 Samuel 13:16-22 we see these common tools were no threat and felt them necessary for Israel to produce goods. The goads were left for working the farms and increasing productivity.
With this very tool Shamgar made it into a weapon and slayed 600 enemies. This was significant enough to deliver Israel from its enemy. Shamgar used what he had to stand for his people. He needed only faith in a powerful God to wield that deadly goad around at his foes. Shamgar’s goad was highly productive!
You don’t need an army of thousands, or “weapons,” or chariots of iron to fight against the enemy. We need faith in a powerful God and we need to use the resources he has given to us. My resources won’t be the same as yours and they will change over time. But God is good all the time and as we seek to stand for truth in this wicked world, we need to utilize any tools we have.
Common tools today would be social media, word of God, the internet, prayer, gathering with believers, and worshiping with a local church. We have so many methods of preaching the gospel, studying scripture, and connecting with saints. We have no excuse to be lazy while a battle rages on around us. No matter the economic status or social status we need to engage this world for Christ. We need to pick up our “Ox Goad” and slay the enemy.
Some of you are gifted with music, preaching, encouraging, or hospitality and you’re not serving with it. Some of you have grown weary and tired from the battle. Listen, pray and be renewed. Listen to the commands of God and let it move you to action. Next week we are going to look at a narrative where one Man was moved to action through God’s word! Lets get busy for Christ!