Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel.
The time of the Judges was a dark time in Israel’s history. Scripture tells us that every man simply did what was right in his own eyes instead of following the Lord. In the midst of this dark period, however, there were some bright spots. Israel would fall into seasons of sin and then cry out for deliverance, and every time God answered their prayers and raised up a deliverer, a judge for Israel. In this we see a beautiful picture of the gospel. We too are a depraved people in bondage to the enemy, but God raised up a deliverer, His own Son Jesus Christ!
These Judges were amazing people. Most notably we think about men like Samson and Gideon, and the prophetess Deborah. These two men and lady orchestrated the slaying of thousands of enemy soldiers and saw God work on their behalf in the most miraculous of ways. The account of Samson’s life especially reads like a blockbuster action thriller complete with love, betrayal, and epic battles. I can just see Dwayne Johnson playing Samson in the full length cinema (with some added hair of course) swinging the jawbone of a donkey as the bodies of slain infidels pile up!
However, snuck quietly within the pages of the book of Judges is a one sentence testimony of an obscure judge named Shamgar. Shamgar was a simple man from a no-name town and a non-descript family. There was nothing particularly miraculous or supernatural about Shamgar, at least in the world’s eyes, yet God also used Him to deliver Israel. Shamgar is a powerful testimony of faithfulness. As one Pastor I know once said, “Shamgar did what he could with what he had right where he was for the glory of God.” It encourages me so much to know this is all God asks of us! Child of God, know today that all the Lord asks of you and I is to do the best we can with what we have right where we are for His glory. He’s not asking us to change the world or to save mankind. He’s asking us to just serve the person right in front of us today and share the good news of Jesus to one person at a time. He asks us to simply follow His will and rely on His grace to accomplish the purpose for which He sends us. It’s not for us to question the tasks we are assigned or the gifts we are given to accomplish those assignments. It is our job to just be faithful to use whatever resources, gifts, and abilities we have to point others to the cross of Christ.
One sentence….that’s all that was said about Shamgar….but that one sentence is a mouth full of faithfulness. If only one sentence was written about your life what would it say? Would it be a one-liner of faithfulness or an epitaph of selfishness? Would it include giving and serving? Would it refer to the deliverance of others from their futile way of life or just a note about the comfortable worldly life you lived? At our funerals someone will stand and talk about our lives. Our obituaries will be on the funeral home website or in the paper one day. What will they say? Let’s live in such a way that history will declare we lived a simple life of faithfulness to the Lord.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, I feel so insignificant and so inadequate. I have nothing to offer you that will add to your holiness and power. But, you choose to use me anyway. Lord, I just want to be faithful. Help me to rely fully on You and trust in your provision for the work. You will equip me to do whatever you have called me to do, and Lord I am content with the role in Your Kingdom service that You assign me. In Jesus name, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 John 3:18
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.