What’s in your hand?

In my Bible reading I’m in Judges and it’s capturing my attention. Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Gideon… men that God used. Men that, as I’ve dug into them a little, don’t look exactly like I pictured them other times I’ve read Judges.

For instance, take Shamgar. The one verse devoted to Shamgar tells us all we know about him.

After him came Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad; and he also saved Israel. ~Judges 3:31

What’s an oxgoad?
It’s a long stick with a point on one end and a shovel like blade of sorts on the other. One end is for prodding the oxen to keep them moving and the other end’s to scrape off the plow. It’s a farmer’s tool, not a warrior’s weapon.

In those days Israel had been deweaponized by their enemies. So, Shamgar used what he had. And with God’s help, he was successful and he saved Israel.

With an oxgoad.
No, that’s not true. He had more than an oxgoad. He had the Spirit of the Living God empowering him. And that’s what puts me and Shamgar on the same playing field. The Holy Spirit.

When God calls you, He empowers you to do what He’s called you to do and gives you the tools necessary. I wonder if Shamgar thought he had what he needed to save Israel? I doubt it. His enemies had real weapons and he had a farmer’s tool. But God didn’t give Shamgar weapons he probably thought he needed, weapons that would’ve come in handy. God used what Shamgar already had in his hands. An oxgoad. If Shamgar had gone on a quest to find the weapons he thought he needed before obeying God, he would’ve lost his opportunity.

This has had me thinking for days.

Am I obeying or delaying? Like Shamgar, I have the Holy Spirit empowering me. I’m sure I have my own version of an oxgoad—something that God has put in my hands, so I don’t need to go on a quest to find anything.

It boils down to simple obedience. I need to quit waiting for what I think are things I need in order to obey and just get on with obeying.


  1. YES!!!! So good. We ALL have what we need to accomplish what God has for us. We just need to listen to Him, follow the Spirit, and obey. Super example, my friend. (You DEFINITELY had the brain today - was wondering! ;) )

    1. I keep thinking that, Jo...that we JUST need to listen, follow and obey.
      But man-a-living, that's a HUGE but. If only it were that simple.

  2. Maybe if I had read your post yesterday I wouldn't have missed the sun today! Gosh...I could kick myself!

    1. Oh man, Cheryl. I've delayed so much, on so many different fronts. It's awful. And I'm so sick of it. Arise! LoL. It's helped a lot. Not an instant change, but a steady rerouting, and I'm so thankful.

      Don't miss the sun.


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