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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

With Just an Ox Goad

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


Only one verse of Scripture makes reference to a man named Shamgar. If we happen to read Judges 3 very quickly, we could wind up missing a powerful lesson from the life of this man. Shamgar represents someone who used what he had and had God’s blessing upon his life. He represents a man of incredible valor and determination. Shamgar's life is a lesson on doing everything that you can with whatever God has placed in your hands.

We see Shamgar and his adversary.

The Israelites were being oppressed by the Philistines. The Philistines were descendants of the ancient Canaanites and had many men who were of gigantic stature. The Philistines were the nemeses of Israel as Israel tried to move forward in serving God. Shamgar was outnumbered 600 to 1. Humanly speaking, he did not stand a chance for survival and victory.

We see Shamgar and his availability.

The last great hero in Israel was a man named Ehud. Ehud passed off of the scene, and Israel was in need of a man who could stand in the gap between them and the enemies of the land. Shamgar was that man. Humanly speaking, there was nothing spectacular about him. He appeared to be a man who grew up on the family farm. However, when the need arose for a man to take on the Philistines, Shamgar decided to be that man. He was available immediately and without reservation. He was available without delay in representing the nation in battle. God is still looking for men who are available to go anywhere and do anything that He bids.

We see Shamgar and his apparatus.

All he had was one ox goad. An ox goad was a pole with a sharpened end. Its primary usage was for prodding animals into action. With this one simple and unsuspecting tool, Shamgar single-handedly defeated the Philistines. In fact, we read about how he slew 600 of these men in one confrontation. Are you using whatever God has placed into your hands to the fullest?

We see Shamgar and his advantage.

He slew 600 Philistines with nothing but his ox goad. That must have been some confrontation! The advantage that he had was not in the ox goad. The advantage is that God would use him. Shamgar made everything that he had available for God to use. God was pleased to see that Shamgar was sold out. With nothing but the ox goad, Shamgar defeated the Canaanites. What was his advantage? God was his advantage. Shamgar was in the hand of God, and that by itself gave him all the advantage that he needed.

We see Shamgar and the amazing.

He single-handedly and in one standing defeated 600 Philistines. This was an amazing feat! He stayed in his place and fought with much vigor to overthrow the Philistines. He was not injured or hurt. He may have grown weary, but he would not quit until the Philistines were defeated. His deed changed the tide and gave Israel a great deliverance.

We see Shamgar and the answer.

His father’s name means "answer." Shamgar was an answer to prayer. We have a God Who delights in answering our prayers as long as our prayers meet His conditions. Shamgar pictures the answer that every Christian should bring into the lives of other people.

God is still looking for some Shamgar's who are available for him to use. Look at what God has placed into your hands, and use it fully for His glory. Take on whatever task God brings your way, and watch what He does with just a simple ox goad!

Have a powerful God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Ruth 1-4

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