“After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.” (Judges 3:31). Right before we read the story about Deborah in chapter 4, there is one verse that talks about Shamgar. An oxgoad was a long stick used by farmers to prod their animals. To keep or get an animal moving, farmers would poke or tap the animals with a long stick. There was nothing fancy or spiritual about this piece of wood.
Confronted by at least 600 Philistines, Shamgar killed them all with this stick. In the book, All In, (p.105),Mark Batterman shared, “So Shamgar grabbed his oxgoad and charged the enemy armies. He looked foolhardy as David chargig Goliath with a slingshot. The enemy chuckled at his makeshift weaponry until he started wielding it.” He had no guns, bullets or others to back him up. We do not know the details of the battle other than with a long stick plus his courage and faith in God, Shamgar destroyed a large size army. If I was playing a soccer, rugby or an American football game, I would make sure Shamgar was on my team.
Why would God have inspired this to be in the Bible? This is what is said about Shamgar. I assume he went back to farming after his decisive, short battle. Batterman also wrote, “Israel was in a state of spiritual anarchy and political tyranny (this was during the time of the judges). They did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord, and the punishment was enslavement to the Philistines, who ruled by fear and intimidation. But one man refused to be ruled by unrighteousness. He decided to disrupt the status quo and he did it with his oxgoad (his long stick).” (p.104). While Shamgar was working his fields with his oxen, he probably did not even think that his oxgoad would become a literal weapon of righteousness.
Shamgar was willing to be used by God however God chose and used the skills and know-how Shamgar had to work His will. Knowing that God plus him made a majority, Shamgar took the courage God provided as he stepped out in faith and did something that could only be explained by knowing God provided the victory.
What oxgoad are you holding that can be used for God’s glory to build his kingdom? Spiritual leaders courageously lead people unto God’s agenda. This can happen in a church, home, work, government, sports or wherever setting. God is interested in every aspect of society and culture. If you are a Christian and are pursuing to grow as a Christian, if you lead people in any capacity, you are potentially a spiritual leader. God is looking for Christians to take what talents and abilities (oxgoads) they possess and lead people.
It takes courage to do the will and work of God. God offers us to be Shamgars for His glory. Do you have the courage with what God has gifted you with to be a Shamgar to impact the world you live in?