Tuesday, November 27, 2012
JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Tue, 11/27/2012
SHAMGAR: THE OBSCURE SAVIOR, Lesson 4b
SHAMGAR THE WARRIOR
As I said earlier, the Israelites were being oppressed by the Canaanites under King Jabin and his powerful army. Jabin has disarmed the Israelites and made them weak militarily. They were not in a position to defend themselves. This provided an opportunity for the Philistines, a warlike people who lived near the Mediterranean Sea, to take advantage of the situation. They would invade Israel and capture slaves, steal crops and destroy villages.
When the Philistines came, most of the people in Israel would flee in terror. They wanted to avoid death or capture. Shamgar, however, refuse to flee. When the Philistines came, he stood his ground and he fought. He did not have any weapons of war, but he had his oxgoad. While this was a tool, it could also be used as a weapon. It would have replaced a spear on one end. It would have served as an axe on the other end. The long pole could have been used to block blows by a sword.
Shamgar took what he had and he used it to secure victory for his people and safety for his family. Over the course of his life, he killed 600 of the Philistine raiders. Using that heavy oxgoad to kill 600 men would have been an amazing physical feat. He was a man who was in top notch physical condition, but his power wasn’t merely physical. His power was spiritual.
Shamgar was a man empowered by God for this task. There can be no doubt that the Spirit of God enabled Shamgar to stand and fight like he did.
Shamgar stood his ground and fought while others ran away because Shamgar knew that some things are worth fighting for. He was fighting for his home, his family, his freedom and his land. He was fighting for the right to worship his God. Shamgar was a physical and spiritual powerhouse. He was a fighter used in a mighty way by the Lord.
Can I just remind you that while we are to be workers, we must also be warriors! When God saved us, He enlisted us in His army and set us about the business of spiritual warfare, (Gal. 5:17). We are war today! We are at war with Satan, and he oppresses us.
We are at war with the world, like the Philistines, it would invade us and take away everything we value. We are at war, and some things are worth fighting for. Some things cry out for us to stand our ground and fight. If we do not fight and protect the things that matter the most, we will see them taken by the enemy and destroyed!
What things am I talking about?
The Home – Your marriage, your spouse and your children are worth fighting and dying for! There is no sacrifice too great, or price too high, for those whom God has given into our care. We should fight for their salvation and righteousness. We should fight to the death if necessary to protect them from the world and Satan.
The Church – The world would slip in and take away the things we value as a church. Things like the Word of God, our preaching, our worship, our doctrines and our holiness are all under attack by Satan and the world. Every day the world makes inroads in to the church and we must be willing to fight and die for the things we believe are right.
The Lost – They don’t know God and they don’t care about God, but they need someone to stand in the gap and maintain the old ways so that they might hear about Jesus. They need people praying for them. They need people who will not run from their vileness and sinfulness, but who will tell them about Jesus. They need someone who will fight for them. Someone fought for us! If you can’t think of anyone, Jesus certainly did! He went through Hell for us. The least we can do is to stand and fight for others.
Do we have any warriors here today? Do we have any saints of God who will sign up today to fight the good fight of faith for those things that are worth fighting for?
“Soldiers of Christ, Arise” By: Charles Wesley (1749)
Soldiers of Christ, arise,
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies,
Through His eternal Son;
Strong in the Lord of Hosts,
And in His mighty pow'r,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.
Stand then in His great might,
With all His strength endued;
And take, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God,
That, having all things done,
And all your conflicts past,
Ye may o'ercome through Christ alone,
And stand complete at last.
Leave no unguarded place,
No weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace,
And fortify the whole.
To keep your armor bright
Attend with constant care,
Still walking in your Captain's sight
And watching unto prayer.
Pray, without ceasing pray,
Your Captain gives the word;
His summons cheerfully obey,
And call upon the Lord:
To God your every want
In instant prayer display;
Pray always; pray, and never faint;
Pray, without ceasing pray.
From strength to strength go on;
Wrestle, and fight, and pray;
Tread all the powers of darkness down,
And win the well-fought day:
Still let the Spirit cry
In all His soldiers, "Come!"
Till Christ the Lord descend from high,
And take the conquerors home.
THIS MY PRAYER!
Merciful Father, Loving God! Our souls are weary and troubled with what we see and hear going on in this world, even within our nation and neighborhoods. We see darkness closing in all around us, as we look for the light of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that is abundant and free. Help us to turn our eyes upon Jesus, to look full in His wonderful face, so the things of this earth may grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Enable us to stand and fight the good fight of faith to Your glory, praise and honor. This we pray today in His blessed name. Amen!
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