“After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel.”
So far this week we’ve looked at several of the judges that God used to deliver His people before the time of Israel’s kings. The book of Judges displays God’s power, mercy and grace through the filter of the most unlikely of heroes. We are reminded of God’s ability to hit bullseyes with bent arrows as He used the weak (Gideon), the arrogant (Sampson), and the sneaky (Ehud) to accomplish His purposes.
And we see the repetitive cycle of the Israelites and recognize it in ourselves. You can trace the history during this time through the spiral of straying, compromising, suffering the consequences of sin, oppression, outcry, rescue and repentence. It is a part of our fallen condition that most of our learning is actually re-learning – over and over and over. But to our undeserved benefit, we serve a merciful God that not only rescues us but allows us to be a part of His plan!
One of the more obscure judges receives only one verse. What would have surely made anyone’s highlight reel was mentioned only in passing in relation to the page space of other judges. We don’t really know anything else about Shamgar, but I think Pat Williams and Jay Strack gave him a fair shake (and certainly more ink) in their book, “The Three Success Secrets of Shamgar.”
They suggest three principles that we can all draw from to make a difference for God’s Kingdom:
- Start where you are
- Use what you have
- Do what you can
Three basic concepts that can each be seen as limitations, but in the hands of a mighty and merciful God can be more than enough.
Take some time to meditate on each of these 3 principles as they relate to your life. Don’t allow them to sit as excuses. Instead, place each at Jesus’ feet and see what He will do with them.
Jon Price, Associate Pastor