“After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.” Judges 3:31
There are only two mentions of Shamgar in the Bible. The first is above, where it briefly notes he attacked and killed 600 enemies with a cattle prod. Quite a character!
The second mention comes from the Israelite judge who followed him, a woman called Deborah. After she led Israel to defeat their enemies, her celebratory song hints at the negative state of the nation in the time of her predecessor, Shamgar.
She sang “In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned; travellers took to winding paths. Villagers in Israel would not fight; they held back…So God chose new leaders …” Judges 5:6-8
Her song gives us insight into Shamgar. Though he had one brave day, a profound moment of success, his leadership after that was marred by unrest, national fear and corporate cowardice, to the point where God removed him.
This little story reminds me that a great life, and great influence, cannot be built by one good day, one brave moment, one season of giftedness. It must be hewn day by day, season by season, as we build into our souls and spheres of influence what is required of us to make a difference.
We must add leadership skill to our love of ministry. We must add character to our creative gifting. We must add perseverance to our pioneering passion. We must add kind speech to our innovative minds and compassion to our courage. Learning must not cease after a single victory. We cannot sit on the laurels of our first accomplishment and presume it is enough to get us reward. There is a life-long race to run!
Don’t be someone who has one good day, one bright season, one clever trick up your sleeve. Build, build, build…keep growing until you make a real divine difference in the world in which you live.
Next…how to build a lasting legacy…
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