In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the main ways were deserted, because travelers kept to the side roads…After Ehud, Shamgar son of Anath became judge. He delivered Israel by striking down 600 Philistines with an oxgoad. - Judges 5:6; 3:31 HCSB

The morning sun rose quietly through the mist. Birds twittered in the trees and the wind sighed through the branches. Rough, uncultured voices broke the peacefulness of the day, laughing raucously at some remark.

Shamgar raised himself slightly, his back pressed to the boulder, his legs lifting him just enough so he could quickly peek over his left shoulder toward the clearing behind and just below him. The Philistine raiders were stamping and tramping into their makeshift camp, shoulders laden with the booty they had stolen from hapless travelers. Several young Israeli women were dragged into the area, each roped to the last in a chain of despair. The comments of the Philistines on the appearance and potential pleasures offered by each of the girls made Shamgar’s blood boil.

His brief glance had brought him bad news indeed. Each of the Philistines was well armed and some were slightly armored. Their short swords looked well used. There had also been at least two crescent axes! Shamgar’s only weapon was an oxgoad – a six foot stick with a metal tipped sharp point on one end and a short scraping blade for getting mud off of plow blades on the other.

“El Gibhor – Mighty Hero! Come to my aid. Strengthen my hands and teach them to war.” With a roar, Shamgar spun around and leaped down among the Philistines. As he fell, his ox goad took a Philistine in the belly. He landed, pulling the goad out of the screaming Philistine and swinging it toward the next one.

These are the kind of heroes Hashem is looking for; men and women who will see the injustices in the world and allow their holy anger to drive them to action. He is seeking men whose blood will boil at the crimes committed against the people. He wants men who will rise up in righteous indignation and drive the pimps, the drug pushers and the casino operators out of their territory. He wants women whose holy natures will cause them to quit talking about about hunger and actually do something about it. El Gibhor, God our Mighty Hero[1], is looking for like-minded folk.

You may say, “But I’m not properly equipped!” Haven’t you heard of Shamgar who used an ox-goad to kill 600 highway robbers? Haven’t you heard how Samson slew 1,000 men with a donkey’s jawbone?[2] How about Moses bringing down the world’s greatest military superpower of the time with a stick?[3] In the hands of an expert martial artist, nearly anything can become a devastating weapon. Why? Because they have made themselves weapons. Place yourself in the Mighty Warrior’s[4] hands and see what He can do with you.


[1] Isaiah 9:6; Nehemiah 9:32

[2] Judges 15:15

[3] Exodus 4:1-2,17; 7:19; 8:5,16; 9:23; 10:13; 14:16

[4] Exodus 15:3