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An Overlooked Hero

9 years ago written by

llm-oct14_discipleshipSome of the best Bible story characters are found in Judges. You have Gideon, the unlikely savior breaking pottery-covered torches; Deborah, the Joan of Arc-esque leader who chases away the bad guys; Samson, a hairy, muscle-bulging womanizer who destroys whole buildings with his bare hands; and Shamgar, the guy who … does stuff.

What? You never heard of Shamgar? No surprise. Shamgar does not get the same press as other Sunday school heroes.

Shamgar only receives one verse (Judges 3:31) dedicated to his story. (Gideon’s story is three chapters long, and Deborah gets her own song.) We don’t know anything about his ancestry. I will award a prize to the person who can tell me what Jewish tribe he’s from. Although Shamgar “struck down 600 Philistines,” his liberation of Israel is mentioned as an add-on to other, more story-worthy judges: “He too saved Israel.”

I want to know more of the story. I want to know Shamgar’s struggle over the enemy and how he leaned on God’s power.

We don’t know much about this Bible character. Perhaps the author of Judges didn’t know much about Shamgar either. Perhaps Shamgar, although vital in Israel’s history, chose to keep his story to himself. Because he did not tell the story, we cannot know the story.

We all have a story. We are characters in God’s greater narrative. We all want something lovely and beautiful, and we experience conflict as we go after it. We all have a story to tell!

No one will know your story unless you tell it. No one will celebrate God’s victory with you unless you share it. What are you waiting for? Come on, Shamgar, let’s hear it.


[1] Does the world know your story?
[2] Do the people close to you know how God is working in your life?

Shane Bengry is the lead pastor of John Wesley FMC in Indianapolis.


Article Categories:
[Discipleship] · Departments · God · LLM October 2014 · Magazine

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