Read Judges 20:26-48
B. The Benjamite War. 2. The Execution of the War (20:13a-48). On the second day, they lost another 18,000 soldiers. The people of Israel fasted and ask God about the battle. The Lord assures them that He will give them the victory. On the next day, Israel uses an ambush to destroy the Benjamites.
There is a repeating of the essential facts in the narrative. The people of Israel end up burning down the towns and even killing the animals.
- Facing another lost battle. Notice in vss. 24-25 that there is another battle that includes the losing of 18,000 more soldiers. In like manner, there are times when after we do exactly what God calls us to do, we suffer another lost. It can be very disheartening.
And yet we are called to keep on obeying. Think about how this applies to our personal development, close relationships, jobs, churches, and communities. Let’s work on developing the faith needed to keep on pressing, even though we just lost another battle. Faith development calls for prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of other disciples.
- Being in tuned with God’s will. Notice in vss. 26-28 that everyone joined the prayer service, fasting, and giving. First, every believer who is a part of the unit – church, family, group, etc. – should give themselves to being in fellowship with God. There are too many people in our churches who rarely come to prayer services, no matter when we have them.
Second, as for fasting, if it will help us obey God, we should be open to it. If it will not help us to obey God, it is not worth the trouble. There is little hope of getting people who refuse to pray to fast. Third, as for giving, every believer should be known for at least paying their tithes and giving their offerings.
If that sounds too legalistic to you then be a “grace giver” who gives at least 10% of one’s income, as is the case throughout the Bible. Anything less than 10% is a “disgrace.” Let’s work on being a part of being in tuned with God’s will for our groups.
- An ambush. Notice in vss. 29-32 that an ambush is used to destroy the Benjamites. It may seem unspiritual, but it was effective to use an ambush. In like manner, we should be open to whatever methods God wants us to use. This application calls for discerning God’s methods.
And it calls for having the courage and faith to carry out God’s method. Notice that even with this method, 30 Israelite soldiers died. Let’s work on having the wisdom and courage to carry out God’s will, no matter how strange it seems to us.
- Over 25,000 killed. Notice in vss. 33-36 that the Benjamites were defeated (i.e., 25,00 killed). First, it is sad to see so many people of God being killed by each other, in this chapter. However, it is a reminder that sin leads to all kinds of trouble.
Second, we should make sure that we are on the right side of the equation. We want to be a part of those who enjoy God’s victory, not a part of those who suffer God’s wrath. Let’s work on living in line with God’s will, so we can experience victory, instead of wrath.
- Destroyed in spite of confidence and fleeing. Notice in vss. 39-42 that the Benjamites were destroyed, in spite of their confidence and fleeing. First, there are those who think that if they have enough self-confidence they can do whatever they want to do.
As believers, we understand that our strength is not in self-confidence but our confidence in God. The more we prayerful study and obey God’s word with the support of other disciples, the more confidence we should have in God.
Second, some believe that if they work smart and hard enough they can avoid pain in this world. But the truth is, if a person is on God’s list to be punished, they will be punished, no matter how they run and try to hide. Repentance is better than trying to run from God. Let’s make sure we have more confidence in God than simply ourselves and that we repent, instead of try to run from God.
- The destruction of animals and towns. Notice in vs. 48 that animals and towns were destroyed. We are tempted to ask, “Why” were even the animals destroyed? We may be tempted to ask, “Why” were the towns destroyed, instead of used?
Our energy may be better used making sure that we are not on God’s destruction list. This calls for making sure that we have accepted Jesus as our savior by faith and that we are living our lives focused on loving God and others, as we love ourselves. Let’s make sure that we are living in line with God’s will, so we can be blessed, instead of destroyed.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will.
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