Summary: A COMMITTED CHRISTIAN SERVES CONFIDENTLY, WHOLEHEARTEDLY AND ABSOLUTELY TO GOD.
A COMMITTED CHRISTIAN
Commitment means: The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons. A pledge to do. An engagement by contract -American Heritage Dictionary
Shamgar’s name means "a stranger" and his father’s name, Anath means "an answer." In contrast to the lengthy reports concerning Ehud and Deborah, Shamgar’s story almost seems incidental. Shamgar was inserted in the account of the Judges, because he was too important to be omitted.
It is of importance to note that his act of deliverance is mentioned as occurring during the long eighty-year peace period that followed Ehud’s deliverance. The defeat of an enemy by Ehud, was not the defeat of all of Israel’s enemies.
Deborah’s song contains the only other reference to Shamgar. In it she sang: "In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were deserted, and the travelers walked along the byways. Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, until, I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel. They chose new gods; then there was war in the gates; not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel...." (Judges 5:6-8)
Travelers did not journey on the main highways for fear of being robbed or killed. The people abandoned their villages in an attempt to avoid being the victims of frequent Philistine raids.
Israel had no weapons with which to defend herself against her enemies. She was vulnerable on every front. No one liked the situation, but no one seemed able to do anything about it.
Our text reveals that Shamgar killed 600 men of the Philistines. It does not tell us if he did this over a period of time or in one encounter. While we aren’t given much detail concerning his heroic act, we are told that Shamgar’s weapon was an ox goad. This was nothing like the dagger crafted by Ehud. According to Wight and Freeman, an ox goad was an instrument used by the ploughman.
A goad is carried by the native ploughman today, and was also used in Bible times. It is a wooden rod varying in length from five to seven fee, with a sharp point at one end. With this the farmer can hurry up his slow-moving animals. (Wight, 1953, p. 171.)
Let’s apply now Shamgar’s commitment to our lives now aS Children of God.
I. A COMMITTED CHRISTIAN SERVES THE LORD CONFIDENTLY
After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who STRUCK DOWN…
David song of confidence in Ps, 27:3: Though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
Again in Ps 62:2 he said: “…He is my confidence; I shall not be greatly moved.”
“Confidence is the companion of success. All you need in this life is confidence and then success is sure." -Mark Twain
Where was Shamgar? What was the starting point for him? He was living in a time and place when his life and property, and the lives and property of his family and countrymen, were at the mercy of Philistines. He could have seen himself as helpless and hopeless but he didn’t.
Shamgar didn’t wait for perfect circumstances or perfect materials to start. He started where he was.
In the Book of Judges God placed His Spirit upon leaders in spite of their weaknesses. Beginning from a place of weakness is not necessarily a bad thing. It can actually be a good thing because it can lead to a God-thing!
God can do things in the lives of people who admit that they need Him that He cannot do in the lives of people who will not admit that they need Him.
Shamgar did not wait until he had an army of thousands to lead in battle. You and I don’t have to wait until things get better before we advance. What you can do for God, do it now.
II. A COMMITTED CHRISTIAN SERVES THE LORD WHOLEHEARTEDLY
Let’s read again our verse: who struck down SIX HUNDRED Philistines
Wholeheartedly means “with all your heart” – Ma. Anicia R. Gatorian
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 says, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to love him and serve the Lord your God with all thy heart…”
Defending himself against 600 Philistines with an ox goad is not really very easy job. Doesn’t matter if he did it all at once or on separate occasions. All that matters is that he did what he could. He did his best!
“If you’re going to succeed in life, you must work hard”