You've Got to Use What You've Got!
Who is Shamgar?
Who is Shamgar?
It’s interesting that a story of this magnitude really only encompasses couple of scriptures. Nonetheless what speaks volumes is what God does before and after he uses Shamgar. There is a lesson in itself about being resourceful but it is also a testament to what God will do when his people continuously take him for granted. It begins with verse seven of “The sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth”. God punished them for their serving of idols to the point that they became enslaved for the next eight years.
As we move forward, the children of Israel pleaded with God and he delivered them and they had rest for forty years but once their leader died they began doing evil again and God handed them back over to heathen nations. Once the people had been oppressed for quite some time another leader by the name of Ehud arose and subdued the Moabites and they had peace for eighty years.
To think that that would be enough, God had to use Shamgar the son of Anath to destroy Philistines with an oxgoad to save his children once again. Understand something Shamgar saved Israel although he was not Hebrew.
What is Your Oxgoad?
What is Your Oxgoad?
The bible states that he killed six hundred Philistines with one oxgoad to save Israel.
An oxgoad is a wooden tool about 8 to 10 feet in length with a iron spike on the end used to spur oxen. When you think about resources, why would people be reduced to using such a tool, especially to fight for freedom?
Understand that Shamgar has probably become an expert with the Oxgoad. When it comes to your gift, your calling there is something God is calling to you do with something that is in your hands every day.
but thanks be to God, who gives the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s not about what God gives us, it is about the fact that the God gives it us for victory in Jesus. It is interesting to note that God has given you something that you use on a daily basis to help change from good to great. It is not about what you have it is about using it right. Ask yourself the question what do you use everyday that can befit the kingdom?
God gives us resources and it up to us to protect them!
Faith - you have to protect your faith.
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
God does not need our protection but he does want us to protect what he has given us. Nonetheless we are supposed to use what God has given us to protect each other. If we do not protect each other than people become victims rather than healthy disciples.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Last but not least love has to be protected.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
So what is in your hand? What are you holding on to? Understand that if you are holding on to the wrong thing you cannot press forward with the wrong thing in your hand.
Shamgar could not defend the children of Israel if the oxgoad was not in his hand.
Are you holding on to what God gave you? Or are you looking at what other people have in their hand wishing it was in your yours. As long as you are doing that you will never assume the position to use what God has given you in your hand right now!
Experience Is Not Necessary
Experience Is Not Necessary
Understand that the oxgoad is not mentioned much, let alone the fact that Shamgar is only mentioned twice in the bible. Just because your story is short does not mean your legacy will not be long.
Shamgar is a short story but a heavy impact! 600 men were destroyed because a farmer used what God gave him. Now he is etched in history forever. A farmer who became a judge because he used what God gave him.
People know who you are by what you use in your hand. Shamgar a farmer with a oxgoad because a warrior and savior of a nation. Shamgar is not a warrior complacent with being a farmer but a farmer called to be a warrior.
Stop using external factors as an excuse to refrain from being great. Shamgar could have said God all I have is an Oxgoad, it does not matter what you have it is about who gave it to you.
Philistines prohibited people from having weapons exclusively Israelites from having weapons. Now no blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears.
Even in this text, they did not have weaponry but Jonathan is still victorious because they used what God had given them. Verse 22 says So it came about on the day of battle that neither sword nor spear was found in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, but they were found with Saul and his son Jonathan. It’s not about the tools its about how the leaders empower the people to use the tool!
As black men we should understand this more than anyone else in this country. Our ancestors were forbidden from voting, reading, having jobs nonetheless they persevered with what they had.
Oppression can lead to further oppression or resourcefulness depending on how you use what God has given you.
Who among us is going to be the farmer turned warrior or will we continue to be a bunch of warriors okay with being a farmer.
And how long will you use excuses, looking at what is in the hands of your neighbor rather than using what is in your hand!
A staff is just a walking stick, but a staff in the hands of Moses led people out of Israel.
Gopher wood and a hammer are just supplies for a construction worker but in the hands of Noah it built an ark to save his family.
A sling shot and some rocks is an insurance claim waiting to happen in my neighborhood, but in the hands of David is it a king that slayed the Philistine Giant!
An oxgoad is tool to dig up roots and steer oxen in the right direction but in the hands of Shamgar it was used to destroy the Philistine army!
Praise God that nails in our hands and feet are only a tetanus shot but in the hands of Jesus brought salvation unto the entire world.