Jdg 20:21 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.
Jdg 20:22 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.
Jdg 20:23 (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.)
Jdg 20:24 And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day.
Jdg 20:25 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.
Jdg 20:26 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.
Jdg 20:27 And the children of Israel enquired of the LORD, (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
Jdg 20:28 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.
God's judgments are a great deep, and his way is in the sea. Clouds and darkness are often round about him, but judgment and justice are always the habitation of his throne. We may be sure of the righteousness, when we cannot see the reasons, of God's proceedings.
2. God would hereby show them, and us in them, that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, that we are not to confide in numbers, which perhaps the Israelites did with too much assurance. We must never lay the weight on an arm of flesh, which only the Rock of ages will bear.
3. God designed hereby to correct Israel for their sins. They did well to show such a zeal against the wickedness of Gibeah: but were there not with them, even with them, sins against the Lord their God? Those must be made to know their own iniquity that are forward in condemning the iniquity of others. Some think it was a rebuke to them for not witnessing against the idolatry of Micah and the Danites, by which their religion was corrupted, as they now did against the lewdness of Gibeah and the Benjamites, by which the public peace was disturbed, though God had particularly ordered them to levy war upon idolaters, Deu_13:12, etc.
4. God would hereby teach us not to think it strange if a good cause should suffer defeat fore a while, nor to judge of the merits of it by the success of it. The interest of grace in the heart, and of religion in the world, may be foiled, and suffer great loss, and seem to be quite run down, but judgment will be brought forth to victory at last. Vincimur in praelio, sed non in bello - We are foiled in a battle, but not in the whole campaign. Right may fall, but it shall arise.
This is a very interesting portion of the bible, from day one, the lord said yes, go out to battle, the lord said it , Go, and they were slaughtered, next they cried out more intensely and the lord again said , yes Go and do battle, a second time they were defeated, , now they inquired of the ARK, the presence of the lord and the third time they were told, Go do Battle.
The third time they won. Very strange, as Henry said, We are foiled in a battle, but not in the whole campaign. Right may fall, but it shall arise.
Are not our ways and he at the time dwelt in dark clouds, no man could see God.
It took three times and many life’s till the battle was won, the third time it was with ease.
Jdg 20:43 Thus they inclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them, and trode them down with ease over against Gibeah toward the sunrising.
This was the end result, but the lord said, go, do battle and twice they were beaten down, but the lord commissioned them and yet they suffered lose, there is a deep lesson in this for all of us.
We may have a commission, we may hear the lord say Go, do this, or do that, and we know it was the lord speaking and the result was a total lose, what does one do with this?
Most would give up, or say it was their own thinking and direction; a delusion a false word, most would call it a no go.
In my ministry and life, I have had the lord commission me for a work and it was a total failure, I was crushed, perplexed, I thought, never again will I just go, no matter if I think it's the lord’s commission or not, but saint of God, this is the way it is, we lose, we win, we lose, we win, this keeps us balanced and far from pride.
If you have blown it a thousand times and still have breathe, get up and try again.
The lord moves in odd ways at times. I have written on how the lord would not allow Paul to go right or left, but straight ahead till he came to Troas and open water, we need these directions and a mighty word, commission can be given, the vision of a man from Macedonia came in Paul’s dream, and they left. What was the results of this mighty and grand commission?
He first when to Thessalonica and was only able to stay a month, the jewdizers , persecuted him , so much he had to leave, than Philippi, he was stoned to death, or near death, this is the same two times it would have seemed, lord did that vision come from you are me, this cannot be of you, all the persecution, fleeing and such.
Next it was on to Corinth, Paul came in fear and trembling, do to his two experiences he faced on this Macedonia call, but he went, a third place, and a mighty church and reception of the gospel spread like fire in Corinth, odd it took three times, just as our text.
We cannot measure our call, or life many times, by our success but our failure, or so it would seem. Each time Paul , like me or you, and the army in our text became more prayerful, tearful and finally the ARK, the power of the lord, and the battle was won, so we can not base a ministry , a call, on anything but step by step direction and continual prayer for direction.
Paul prayed for his thorn to be removed three times, it was not, but he ministered on, it is true the lord moves in three's the bible is filled with them.
I have planted ministries that failed fast, others did well and after 2 or 3 years many ended, it is heart breaking, our Church plant in Yermo failed 100%, but what do I do, encourage myself in the lord, pray and rely 100% on the lord and never let the enemy say, failed again, if you are forging ahead and not giving up, this shows you have the right spirit and your doing something right, so never give up as battles increase, as they are, it is to train us to do battle and not run, make your stand and never give up, till the lord takes you.
Have you fallen, get back up, have you blown it, yet again, repent and get back up. Jesus was in the tomb on Friday, but Sunday was on the way, three days by the way. LOL.
It may feel like a Friday to you, but Sunday is on the way.