“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” (NKJV Judges 3:31).
In this scripture, Shamgar is a regular person, a farmer, who has no status in society, yet he is mentioned in the Bible. Why? Because he knew what was wrong and what was righteous in the sight of God. Shamgar was not willing to make peace with the enemies of God unlike so many of his people who were before him.
There were 600 Philistines living in Israel, and are scripturally known for oppressing and warring with the Israelites and blaspheming God. Now Shamgar was probably affected by the philistines rampages and probably had his property raided because he was a farmer; however, he would not accept his current situation and killed 600 men. That is an incredible feat. I think this feat is especially great when I think about the weapon he used- an ox goad. This tool was used to scrape mud from the plow as it was used in the field and used to prod the oxen to move forward. Commentaries say that this tool would be more formidable than a sword in the hands of a powerful man. I think Shamgar was a powerful man since he could kill 600 men.
The first application I see for new covenant believers is we don’t need titles to serve God. We don’t need any supernatural calling to compel us to do something for Him. The Bible is the best inspiration for what we need to do for our friends, community, society, or nation. Shamgar was a normal person in his society, but he did a great thing for God and his people. The same applies to us: we can do great things for God wherever we are at. In 1Cor. 1:27 it says, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” God uses regular folks to accomplish his will.
The second application I see is we have an obligation to stand up against the things which are scripturally evil. Shamgar stood against evil and defeated 600 men. He would not tolerate what the Philistines stood for culturally or socially, and would not tolerate the effects they brought upon his people. As Christians, there is a duty to address all things that are contrary to the nature of God, as revealed in the Bible. There is no accepting or compromising with the enemies of God. In Eph.6:13 it says,”Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” There is a war going on and we are to be equipped to fight in it.
The third application is only God can do the “600-dead-men-miracle.” In my life, I have found that when I want to accomplish big things, they come to nothing because I was doing them in my own intellectual powers rather than leaning on God’s guidance and timing. There are times when an enemy appears so powerful, and one would think to gather resources, plans, and people to defeat it; however, God needs only one person to fight and triumph over many. In Jesus, we triumph. In 1Cor. 1:27 it says, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” God accomplishes his will in ways the human mind says won’t work.
This is one of my favorite scriptures because it speaks that Christians should not remain docile as our Adversary goes around seeking destruction. I hope those who read this are encouraged to defend their faith in our fallen world.