What’s your oxgoad?
“Shamgar…struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.” Jdg 3:31 NIV
Because the Israelites disobeyed God, they ended up enslaved to the Philistines who ruled them by fear and intimidation. But Shamgar refused to be intimidated. He decided to disrupt the status quo, and he did it with an oxgoad—a long stick used by farmers to prod animals. He refused to let what he could not do, keep him from doing what he could. After all, God plus one equals a majority. And if God is for you, who can be against you? (See Ro 8:31). So Shamgar grabbed his oxgoad and charged six hundred Philistine soldiers. The enemy probably chuckled at his makeshift weaponry until he started wielding it. Then the look in his eyes struck fear into their hearts. Courage doesn’t wait until the situation favors you, or the plan is perfectly formed, or the tide of opinion turns. Courage only waits for one thing: a green light from God. And when God gives the go, it’s full steam ahead, no questions asked. It’s about attacking the problem with whatever oxgoad God has given you. It’s an all-out assault on the forces of darkness, by deciding to become “salt and light” where God has placed you. It’s more than pointing out the problems, it’s committing yourself to be part of the solution. It’s more than just having a heart for Christ, it’s deciding to take action and become His hands and feet. Instead of sitting on the sidelines because you believe others are more qualified, it’s using what God gave you and asking Him to bless it. As the songwriter said, “Little is much, when God is in it.”