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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Napier

Shamgar, the O.G. Rambo

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

Not too many people have heard of Shamgar. In fact, there are only two verses on this guy. The name Shamgar is found in the Old Testament in Judges 3:31 and 5:6.

Shamgar was a farmer. We know that because he had an oxgoad. An oxgoad is a long pole with a point on one end. It was used to jab the oxen and prompt them to get going. It could also have a hook that could be used to dig up roots and dirt for plowing.

In Shamgar’s day the Bible says the Philistines were attacking Israel. Now, if you’re familiar with the Philistines, this was the same group of people that produced the giant from the city Gath (Goliath who was killed by a shepherd boy named David (1 Sam. 17).

Shamgar was tired of the Philistines. He was tired of the enemy coming in trying to wreck his neighborhood and run things. He wasn’t going to wait for other people to take care of the problem. He decided to take care of the problem himself. The two verses tell us that Shamgar slew 600 hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. All 600 of them!

How do you slay 600 men with an oxgoad? First, let me tell you how you DON’T do it…ALL AT ONCE!

If 600 guys bum rush you, I don’t care what kind of oxgoad you got, you’re going to get killed.

However, Judges 5:6 says the Philistines were coming by the “by-ways” or abandoned windy paths. So the Philistines were coming in small groups. So essentially, he RAMBOed them!!

He picked them off group by group.

For the basketball team this is an important point.

In a season, a team faces a similar journey. The way to win a championship is by attacking one team at a time. We must believe it can be done.

Shamgar became a judge in Israel which means he was a ruler, a champion!

Now wait a minute. How did a farmer become a judge? How is someone plowing one day and sitting in the ruler’s chair the next day? It was because God made the man great. What made him great was that he took leadership and he made a difference in the community he lived in.

My message to the team:

God is giving you an opportunity to be great. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or senior, God has given you an opportunity to make a difference. The advantage you have over Shamgar is you have 15 guys to overcome this obstacle with you.

I ended my talk on the meaning of the name of Shamgar, “The one that listens to God”.

Can you imagine what preceded Shamgar’s deliverance of Israel? Perhaps he was out farming with his ox and while he was walking with the ox he was talking to God saying, “God what do you want me to do about this problem? You got to give me some guidance.” Maybe God spoke to him and gave him some divine instruction, “have you ever thought about using that oxgoad as a tomahawk missile?”

Sometimes God uses a common item, something we already have in our hands, as a tool to do something supernatural. For players, it can be that small orange ball that God uses to do something supernatural in our lives and the lives of others.

God has destined each of us for greatness. How will you make a difference?

Shamgar didn’t sit back and wait for someone else to make a play or the right pass. He went and made change, made history, and became a champion.

We have an opportunity to be great. We will do it together, attacking one team at a time.


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