March 25, 2017

March 25, 2017

JUDGES 19-21

Focus Verse: The sons of Israel went up and wept before the Lord until evening, and inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall we again draw near for battle against the sons of my brother Benjamin?” And the Lord said, “Go up against him.” Then the sons of Israel came against the sons of Benjamin the second day. Benjamin went out against them from Gibeah the second day and felled to the ground again 18,000 men of the sons of Israel; all these drew the sword.
Judges 20:23-25


Let’s be real honest here…this would be enough for most of us today to turn away from the faith. That’s how deeply we are influenced by “the prosperity gospel” in America. Even those of us who will reject the basic idea of any kind of “name it and claim it” theology, we still don’t like the idea that God let’s bad things happen to those who follow Him. That is the main reason why so many major denominations believe in a pre-tribulation rapture.


The problem is, this viewpoint simply is not biblical. I know it’s a PR nightmare for God (but since when did He hire us to be His public relations department), but sometimes God sends us into a battle He fully intends us to lose. The proof is right here. The proof is in Paul getting beaten within an inch of his life and thrown into prison. The proof is in almost all of Jesus’ disciples being martyred for their faith.


God’s not interested in the battle; He is interested in the war. And He has already won that! Israel goes up against the tribe of Benjamin (who had let themselves become the moral equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah) twice after the Lord commands them, and they get destroyed both times. It’s not like there was even a moral victory to be had here. They didn’t have two really close calls and then decide to give it one more try. They got the snot kicked out of them twice!


But because God said so, they just kept at it. And the third time was the charm.


So what has God told you? That you will have a baby? That you will be healed? That you will have financial freedom? That your marriage will be redeemed?


If God has spoken victory over that war in your life, then it doesn’t matter how many battles you lose. It doesn’t matter how many times you get the snot kicked out of you. It doesn’t matter how dismal the future looks. HE has won the war. Keep fighting.

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