SOAP Journal – 24 July 2017 (Judges 3:31)

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

Shamgar feels almost like a footnote. The last verse of chapter 3 is the only mention of what he did as a judge and the only other mention of him in The Bible is in the context of Jael, the woman who drove a tent peg through the head of Sisera. Both of these people worked to judge and deliver the Israelites, but this morning’s focus is on Shamgar and whether or not there are any parallels between him and Christ.

There is another herdsman in the scriptures who delivers with the tools of his trade: King David. David, not the king at the time, takes his sling and some stones and is able to deliver the Israelites from a Philistine giant named Goliath.

Later in scripture,  Paul said that Jesus told him (Paul) that it is difficult for Paul to kick against the goads. In context, Jesus is implying that Paul is fighting hard against God poking and prodding him (Paul) to submit and become a Christian.

It may be a bit of a stretch, but it seems that Shamgar and Christ have a parallel in that both use the tools of a herdsman to save. Shamgar took the tool he would have used to prod his oxen and get them moving for work and killed 600 Philistines. Jesus takes the rod and staff of a shepherd and leads us to Himself. Jesus uses those same tools that lead us to repentance to drive off our enemies and keep us safe.

All of this brings me to the concepts contained in Psalm 23, where Jesus rod and staff are my comfort. To me, His own, those implements are safety. To those who would seek to cause me harm, they are weapons that will be used to protect what belongs to Christ. Let me rest secure in His protection.

Father, thank You for this reminder that You protect and that Your protection sometimes uses things that would otherwise be used to guide me. Please work the truth of Your protection into my heart so that I rest secure in Your protection.

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