The Ox Goad
“After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad; and he also delivered Israel.” Judges 3:31 NKJV
Shamgar was a Judge of Israel. He is only mentioned in two verses in the Bible. This is all we know of him but it is so poignant. In Judges God raises men and women to deliver the nation from oppression that has come because of their apostasy. We know all the familiar names like Samson, Gideon, Deborah, and others, but we never hear of Shamgar. We don’t know how or why he arose, only that he delivered Israel from the oppression of the Philistines.
He responded to God and used what he had to accomplish the will of God for His people. We think of these as amazing stories, but find it hard to believe that one man could kill 600 without an actual weapon. And yet this is exactly what God will do through those who obey and give themselves over to Him, using only what they have. All he had was an ox goad and with God, that was all he needed. When Moses was uncertain of the call God was making upon him, the Lord said to Moses in Exodus 4:2: So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.”
The Lord used what Moses had in his hand and that rod became the symbol of his authority and power in God. Shamgar had an ox goad. This was not even a weapon, it was a club with a sharp end that can get through the tough hide of oxen and motivate them to move. It was good enough for Shamgar to dispatch 600 men and deliver Israel and was used to the glory of God in faith.
Our covenant is so much better! We have a far bigger stick than either Shamgar or Moses. We have the Word and the authority of the name of Jesus. We just need to be bold and willing to use the Word just as Shamgar used his ox-goad. Use the Word, keep it in your hand, your heart and on your lips and you will see even greater victories than Shamgar.
Use the Word daily with power that finds results just like the supernatural victory of Shamgar with his ox-goad. And think of this, when Shamgar wielded his ox-goad, he did not just deliver himself, he delivered Israel. When we use the Word, we deliver not just ourselves, but those that are with us. Awesome!
J Todd Hostetler