After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel.
(Judges 3:31 – ESV)
(Judges 3:31 – ESV)
The application of this passage is not about a physical battle but a spiritual battle (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 / Ephesians 6:10-18). We may feel that we are not equipped, but look at what Shamgar had to use, we may not as yet have our minds renewed as they ought to be, and we may have let our sword go dull, but our spiritual weapons are available and we need to avail ourselves of them. We need to fast, we need to pray, we need to read our bibles, we need to work as unto God, we need to witness, and we need to live with holy boldness and holy gladness. It is our duty to keep our minds sober and our sword sharp. We need the Word of God, we are in danger of losing our sword, we are living the words of Amos 8:11-12. We will either use it or lose it.
It is not about political victory or physical power but standing in the power of the Lord and the strength of His might. When we are doing what we are supposed to be doing and wearing the armor of God then that is when we will stand out from the cowering crowd and be attacked. However, instead of this making us cowards it is testing us so that we may see just how strong this armor actually is. 600 Philistines said, oh yeah, you little farmer, we’ll show you what happens when someone defies us by taking a stand, but God showed them what happens when one man stands in the power of the Lord! We need a revival of the Word of God, we need to stop sin from stealing our sword, and keep the enemy from running us over and ruining our witness.
Now this wasn’t a foolhardy man who just got his dander up and went out in a rash manner. No this was a man with true conviction whom God raised up. He didn’t go out looking for the fight it came to him, and he was made ready to defend, to deliver, to declare the power of God. Believe me God will raise up His lights to shine in the darkness even in small corners where no one else may recognize it right away but the powers of darkness will be driven back all the same.
Shamgar was a man of character, a man God raised up, a man who made a stand. He was willing to be harassed, to suffer for being out in the open, to fight and he was intentional. You might have to go at it alone, like Shamgar, and like another farmer, the prophet Amos. During the darkest times the brightest lights will come forth shining as a flaming fire. During the time of Ahab and Jezebel we see God raising up Elijah and Elisha. During the time of the dark ages and the apostasy of the church we see God raising up the reformers like Martin Luther. In the darkest periods of humanity is when the church should shine brightest.
What does that say about us today, considering the condition of our world and the condition of the American church? Who will God raise up to be a Shamgar to this generation? Many, in God’s providence, this is my prayer, that many will fight the battle on their own little battlefield. They may be unnoticed but they will still be empowered by God to wage war in their own place, not worried about gaining recognition as some big time super saint, but willing to lay down their lives for the cause of Christ in the place where they are. We may never know their names this side of heaven, but God sees them as we see Shamgar, a mighty deliverer, a declarer of God’s righteousness and His faithfulness to His people.