I’ll get ya with my oxgoad!

To kick off the new year, my small group started a study the book of Judges.  As of last night, we’ve studied through the 3rd chapter and learned about just a few of the judges that led the rebellious Israelites after Joshua died.  Click here if you want to brief overview of Judges.

Something really stood out to me in Judges 3. This guy: Shamgar.

He is the third judge over Israel.  In the entire 3rd chapter of Judges, he gets ONE verse (nevermind that the two judges before him got several verses, Otheniel comes in at 5 and Ehud comes in at 15+).

Here is the shout out to Sharmgar3 (Judges 3:1)….

After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.

I read vs. 31 and thought, “That’s it?  What else?”  It’s like Shamgar is almost an afterthought…I know his dad, how many he killed, and he used an oxgoad…and oh by the way, he saved the Israelites.

So I did a little digging.  And the first place I started…what exactly is an oxgoad?

Trusty Wikipedia explains:

The goad is a traditional farming implement, used to spur or guide lifestock, usually oxen, which are pulling a plough or a cart; used also to round up cattle.

Wow.  Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with a cattle prod?!?!  Seriously?

And why is this so shocking?  The Philistines were warriors, skilled and trained killing machines.  And the Israelites were barely farmers, they didn’t know how to fight.  Judges 3:2 points out, “he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience.”

It didn’t make worldly sense.  It didn’t make human sense.

But God is above all of this. He isn’t of this world, He isn’t human.  He is divine, all knowing, all powerful.  He is able to take farmers with cattle prods and give them victory over stronger, more powerful warriors…all because HE CAN.

How does this look in your own life?  Do you feel like all you have is a an oxgoad in your hand?  Are you wondering how it’s all going to work out?  Don’t fret.  I pray that you can cling to the word of God, start with the promises from Isaiah…

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.

Isaiah 41: 10, 13


3 Responses to “I’ll get ya with my oxgoad!”

  1. 1 Andrew
    January 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    It seems you’ve taken what you’ve read a little too literally… as if it actually happened.

  2. January 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    What are you trying to say, Andrew? You don’t believe it happened?

    • 3 Andrew
      January 28, 2010 at 9:13 pm

      This exactly what I’m saying, though I’m not trying to criticize/attack your beliefs or cause drama. It’s silly to actually believe that one man used a farming instrument to kill over six hundred men. The man may have existed, perhaps, but the claims made surrounding him are absurd (especially considering the source).

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