Then all the Israelites went up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the Lordand fasted until evening. They also brought burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord.
Series: Overwhelming Victory
The story of the verse above is of a civil war happening within Israel. There was some extremely cruel treatment that happened to the concubine of a Levite during travelling, where she was raped for an entire night by a gang of men (people from the tribe of Benjamin), and in the morning she was found dead at her master’s footsteps.
This is what the Bible says ‘ the master, the Levite, cut the dead woman into 12 different and he sent each part of her body to 12 different tribes of Israel and he gathered all of them. All the 12 tribes went into battle against the tribe of Benjamin.
Before the battle the Israelites went to Bethel and asked God ‘ which tribe should go first to attack the tribe of Benjamin ? ‘, the Lord answered ‘ Judah is to go first ‘.
Then they went into battle and were expecting an overwhelming victory, because it was 11 tribes against 1 tribe. But, they returned defeated and were very discouraged. Bible indicates that about 22,000 Israelites were killed that day because of Benjamin’s warriors.
So the Israelites encouraged eachother and they took their position at the same place that they had fought the previous day. Before doing so, they went to Bethel and wept in the presence of the Lord until evening. They asked the Lord again if they should fight against their relatives from Benjamin again, the Lord replied ‘ go out and fight them. ‘. So they went and did again. This second time, there were about 18,000 people that were defeated.
Now, this is maybe a little cruel, that God is not keeping His end of the bargain. God told the Israelites that when they go out into battle that God will give them victory, God is the one who told them to send Judah into battle first, and the Israelites obeyed and did everything that God asked them to do, but yet they came back defeated.
Now the third time, according to Judges 20:26, they fasted too. They also brought burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. The Priest brought the arc of the covenant and asked God again if they should fight against their relatives Benjamin and God responded ‘ go, for tomorrow I will hand them over to you. ‘
The first few times that they prayed, all God said was to go for the battle, it was His will that they go for the battle, but doesn’t mean that they get the answer immediately.
The first few times God said ‘ yes my children, I want you to take this up ‘, Yes my children, I want you to go for that ministry ‘. But that doesn’t mean that because God asked us to go ahead with our business ventures, that we’d immediately become the next biggest millionaires in the world.
This is what happened to the Israelites, they were expecting an overwhelming victory immediately, and if they would have given up after the first battle or even after the second battle, they would have stopped consulting God.
But the Bible says that the Israelites did not give up, they went back into the presence of God with weeping, fasting and sacrifices, and God saw their consistency, their regularity and blessed them with victory.
So many times we go to God and are expecting a quick solution, but when God doesn’t give us that quick-fix, we are so disappointed that we go back lost and without purpose in life or any aim in life. Hence there is hardly any consistency in church and Christianity.
So let’s pray that God gives us victory over inconsistency, in all areas of our lives, in work, prayer, studies etc.
May God give us victory over inconstancy! Amen.
Let’s be mindful about inconstancy, and be patient for the victory that God has set for us.
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