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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Overcoming the Odds

Today's Verse:

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. ~Judges 3:31

 

The Bible is filled with the real life accounts of men and women of faith who overcame the odds in life. Humanly speaking, these Bible heroes were no match for the opposition they faced. Yet, God used these valiant men to overcome the odds and provided us with an example of what faith, obedience, prayer, and determination can accomplish. This morning, we are considering the inspiring story of Shamgar, the man who only had an ox goad.

 

We see Shamgar the descendant.

Shamgar is the third of the judges that God raised up as a leader in Israel. His two predecessors were Othniel and Ehud. Ehud was a man whom most people wrote off as a failure because he was left-handed. However, Ehud made the most of who he was and what God had given him. Othniel was the son-in-law to Caleb. Caleb was a hero whom the people spoke about for many years. Othniel, likewise, used what he had, and God accomplished a great victory. Shamgar had the inspiring example of men of faith who God used. We, too, have the example of the great men of faith whose lives testify that God will use anyone who places everything into the hands of God.

 

We see Shamgar and his dynamic.

His name means “a sword.” However, he is not famous because of a sword: he is famous because of an ox goad. An ox goad was not a weapon of war; it was a common farming tool used as a cattle prod. Shamgar slew 600 Philistines with this ox goad. Can you imagine that feat? He was out-numbered 600 to 1, and the only weapon he had was his farming tool. Yet, with that ox goad, he overcame the odds! God is looking for a Shamgar, who will place everything that he is and everything that he has into the hands of God to be used. God is looking for men who do not make excuses or look for someone else to take their place: men who will accept the task before them and stay with it until the victory is won.

 

We see Shamgar the deliverer.

Shamgar became a judge at a needed time. Ehud had passed the scene. A new enemy raised its ugly head against Israel. Shamgar proved himself to be fit and worthy of being a judge. First, I believe he was an answer to prayer. His father’s name means “answer.” The best thing a father can do for his son is to pray that God will use that son to do something great for God. Second, he was proven in battle. None of his contemporaries had accomplished anything like Shamgar did. He was the talk of the town. Israel needed someone who proved himself in difficult circumstances. Third, he was proven in faith and character. God raised up judges who were men of faith and had unblemished lives.

 

We see Shamgar and a destiny.

He was born to lead. He was born to do something great for God. He was born to fill a void. He was born to inspire. The overwhelming odds became his impetus to do something no one else in his generation did. What’s your destiny? What did God save you to do for him?

 

Are you facing an overwhelming situation? Like Shamgar, place what you have into the hands of God, and by faith let God overcome these odds.

 

Have a faith-inspired God Morning!


Bible Reading Schedule: Judges 19-21

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