Judges 20:18-28 (KJV)
And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up first.
And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah.
And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel put themselves in array to fight against them at Gibeah.
And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty and two thousand men.
And the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day.
(And the children of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until even, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? And the LORD said, Go up against him.)
And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day.
And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these drew the sword.
Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
And the children of Israel enquired of the LORD, (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand.
Israel had asked the Lord concerning the battle against Benjamin and were assured that this was right to do. However, in the first attempt, they were soundly and sorely defeated. Once again they sought God and once again they were assured this battle was right. However, once again they were defeated. At this point nearly twice as many Israelites had died as there were Benjamites.
Once again, with fasting and weeping, they sought God. They were again assured that the battle was of the Lord so they set themselves to fight again. This time they won.
There are elements of this passage that are inexplicable. We may only stand appalled at the evil of men when they are left to their own devices. But there is a lesson in this account. Defeat does not necessarily mean God isn’t in a thing. There are numbers of men I have known who have tried and failed at planting a new church. There are several I could think of who have applied and been turned down for a particular job they believed they would want to do. Failure did not necessarily mean God was opposed to them.
One man applied to several police departments before getting hired. He has succeeded in his field now for many years. One man attempted several fields of work before getting a job that has been a blessing to himself and his family. I was blessed to plant a church in Astoria, OR. After arriving I learned that there had been two unsuccessful attempts before me. The fact that there had been previous failures in no way meant that God did not intend on success.
You might be experiencing a time of failure right now. Do not take that to mean God is opposed to your success. Fast, pray and perhaps adjust your strategy but do not give up. If you have sought the Lord, if your plan is true to the Word of God then be encouraged. God is on your side.
For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.
Judges 20:18-28 (KJV) Don’t Let Defeat Stop You
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