"After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel." Judges 3:31
Shamgar has the shortest description of his influence in Israel of all the deliverers God raised up to rescue. And there is only 1 other person whose description only contains one relationship in their life, their father, son of______. All the rest mention the people who worked with them or the fruit of their life (like kids). But not Shamgar. Why do you suppose that is?
So you might be able to single-handedly destroy an entire brigade with a 8 foot long metal-tipped pole... ok, well maybe not, but even if you could, the buck stops there. There is no mention of how many years Israel had peace, there is no mention of lasting effects or fruit. Perhaps God was intentional about leaving that out because He didn't create us to fight battles on our own. Perhaps it was because Shamgar got all the glory due to him at the time since he relied only on himself?
God created us to need each other. He created us to function as a machine fitted together with all the working parts working toward one goal, making Him known. Each little part has to do their part and has to be reliant on the others in doing their part. For a machiene to work each part has to value the other parts, not thinking that every other part has to think and act just like them. Ok, seriously how easy is that to do! To think "My way is the right way" and look down on others who just don't get it or don't have it figured out yet.
And ya know, when we start valuing each others difference instead of comparing or being jealous, it frees us up to rejoice with those who rejoice and gives us freedom to fail. For instance, I am not a fan of cooking and I have done very little baking in my life. In fact I made my very first cake today. I just have to include a picture because it is so laughably horrendous.
But I am free to fail at being a great cook and incredible and inspiring baker because God didn't build me that way. He gave me a passion to think and write. A passion to teach.
And check out these amazing cakes by my sweet friend Janna (check out Something Sweet and give her a like?)
I can be totally excited about how God has built her to display His character without jealousy because if we were all the same, how would the world get to see the immense creativity of our God!? And really, it's all about Him, not us.
Questions for reflection
Are you thinking or functioning as a Shamgar? Are you trying to do (even something good, something God called you to do) by yourself? If so, that is a dangerous place to be. When Jesus sent out laborers, He never sent them out alone. So you might want to spend some time asking the Lord how and who to include with you.
In what ways are you functioning as though your way is the only way? (When it comes to something that disagrees with Scripture, there is obviously only 1 right way-like Jesus being God and the only way to receive forgiveness and eternal life.)
Are you jealous of someone else's gift? Are you comparing yourself to others? How is that effecting living how your uniquely built to display the glory of God? Why not spend some time talking to God about it right now?
Are you playing your part in the great giving God glory machine? Are you giving what God built in you to contribute toward making Him known? If not, why? Perhaps it's because you're not real sure how you fit or what your unique contribution is.
Here's some helpful resources. The life direction circles and INVEST acronym will help you figure it out how your built and how it fits into your God-given purpose. It is best to watch the video, which will explain the following worksheets.
I hope the Glimpse of Glory in Judges Series; A Bible study devotional through the book of Judges, has been a blessing to you so far. And I hope you will come by each weekday to get a glimpse of God's heart and character from the book of Judges.