A small town of Gibeah started a Civil War. A few men in the town performed a hideous act. The tribe of Benjamin refused to turn these men over for punishment and so the other 11 tribes warred with their brothers.
Now the 11 tribes were stronger than the tribe of Benjamin. They were morally correct and they had inquired of God if they should attack their brother. God had granted them permission. So this battle should have been a no brainier. But when they went into battle they were defeated. Not once but twice.
Have you ever experienced defeat in a battle? You did everything right. You heard from God, you bathe the activity in prayer, you stepped out in faith only to find disappointment, only to experience failure. You were a perfect match, but the marriage failed. You provided the best for your child, but still they walked away. You prayed, fast, declared and still they died.
What do you do in those moments when what should have been an easy victory goes terribly wrong? The 11 tribes retreated. They inquired once more of the Lord and then they went back into battle. And that is what we do. When we experience a setback, we step back for a moment, regroup, spend some time with God, clarify the promise and the task. And then engage once again in the battle. One, two, or even 3 defeats should not sideline us. It makes us stronger. More determined. Wiser.
I believe the Lord is saying this morning to someone (maybe me): “You stepped out in faith. You took a risk. It did not go they way you planned. But that is not an indication you did not hear my voice. You did. My plans for you have not changed. Regroup. Get back in the battle. Your enemy does not realize disaster is at his doorstep.”
The third time the 11 tribes attacked, they experienced victory. Get back in the battle. God’s promises are true. You may loose a battle here and there but the war is fixed. You win!
“Ten thousand men, well-trained soldiers from all Israel, then made a frontal assault against Gibeah – the battle was fierce. But the Benjaminites did not realize that disaster was at their doorstep.”
Judges 20:34 NET