Summary: Shamgar is only mentioned twice in the book of Judges - in out text and in 5:6-7. Shamgar’s story almost seems incidental, but because he was too important to be omitted he is included in the Scriptures.
It’s not much, but you can have it!
Israel should have been fully enjoying the Promised Land but their inconsistency in obeying God and their imitation of the idolatrous culture around them led to failure.
Israel had a habit of turning from God. Whenever they did so God would deliver them into the hands of their enemies. They would then cry out to God in repentance; God would send a deliverer – a judge – but when He delivered them they would only be obedient for a while but then drift back into sin, and God will deliver them to their enemies, until they again cried out for help. This was repeated again and again in the life of the nation of Israel.
At this particular time there is a definite need of deliverance. They people of Israel find themselves completely at the mercy of their nemesis, the Philistines!
Shamgar is only mentioned twice in the book of Judges - in out text and in 5:6-7. Shamgar’s story almost seems incidental, but because he was too important to be omitted.
It Was A Time of Fear.
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.
It Was A Time of Vulnerability.
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.
The Israelites didn’t think they had a fighting chance. The Philistines had them so convinced of their inferiority that they had even surrendered their weapons of war. Then the Philistines did not allow them to have a blacksmith in the entire country so they could not fashion any weapons.
Their morale was low, they felt defeated and even worse they felt hopeless. The Israelites weren’t looking for a brighter day. They had lost confidence in themselves and they had even lost faith in God!THE TOOL
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.
A goad is a wooden rod varying in length from five to seven feet, with a sharp point at one end. With this the farmer can hurry up his slow-moving animals.
The ox goad was an instrument used in agriculture, not in fighting against seasoned warriors. However, in Shamgar’s hands the ox goad became a lethal weapon.
Others in Israel may have seen the need to throw off the oppression of the Philistines, but they felt unable to do anything about their situation.
While others were waiting for God to work a miracle that would make failure impossible, Shamgar trusted God to use him and what he had.
What we are about to discover is that the Israelites deliverance came from the most unexpected source! Deliverance, you see, is about to come from a man…
Who isn’t politically connected,
Who isn’t from a wealthy family,
Who doesn’t have a college degree,
Who doesn’t n any military experience!
Yet it was this farmer that God chose to bring deliverance to Israel!
“Why did God choose Shamgar for such a task?” God chose Shamgar because he possessed qualities that made it possible for him to be used by God!
What can I learn from a guy whose entire biography consists of just two verses?
I. EMBARK Right From Where You Are
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.
A. Shamgar didn’t wait - for suitable circumstances. He commenced from here he was.
God specializes in taking the ordinary and doing extraordinary things with it! One of the lessons from the Book of Judges is that God places His Spirit upon people in spite of their weaknesses.
The truth is we are all weak and need God’s intervention.
God can do things in the lives of people who admit that they need Him. God cannot work in the lives of people who will not admit that they need Him. Three times the Bible says, "God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble."
Shamgar did not wait until he had an army of thousands to lead in battle. And you and I don’t have to wait until things are more convenient before we advance. So, commence where you are.