Aim High

“. . . Shamgar . . . killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad; and he also delivered Israel.”

— Judges 3:31

How high are your ambitions to accomplish things for God’s glory? Today we meet an obscure character of Scripture, a man named Shamgar, who aimed high and honored his Lord.

The Philistines had conquered Israel and were greatly oppressing the Israelites. The Philistines had taken all of the Israelites’ weapons and means of defense, leaving the Israelites despondent. What could they do? They were outnumbered and defenseless. But Shamgar, a farmer, had a different attitude. He labored hard in the fields, plowing his crops with a broken yoke of oxen. Day after day he worked, despite the threat that when the harvest came, the Philistines would sweep down and carry away all his crops. And sure enough, at harvest time six hundred fully armed Philistines swept down on this one farmer armed with only a goad (a pointed instrument used to provoke oxen).

Shamgar could have made excuses: “There was only one of me. I was just a farmer. I didn’t have a sword.” But he didn’t. Because Shamgar had faith in God and concern for his people, he decided to take a stand. As the Philistines came upon him, he took his ox goad and began to swing it. That must have been quite a battle to behold. When the dust settled, six hundred Philistines lay dead on the ground, and Shamgar went home to his harvest.

Shamgar had a goal: to free his people from bondage. Because of his faith in God, he reached that goal, despite the incredible odds against him. And we can do the same. What goals would you like to achieve? Don’t sell yourself short or put limits on what you can accomplish. Through God, you can do anything. Therefore, aim high.

“Not failure but low aim is the crime!”