Promise Fulfilled

Judges 20:29-35

29Then Israel set an ambush around Gibeah. 30They went up against the Benjamites on the third day and took up positions against Gibeah as they had done before. 31The Benjamites came out to meet them and were drawn away from the city. They began to inflict casualties on the Israelites as before, so that about thirty men fell in the open field and on the roads—the one leading to Bethel and the other to Gibeah. 32While the Benjamites were saying, “We are defeating them as before,” the Israelites were saying, “Let’s retreat and draw them away from the city to the roads.”

33All the men of Israel moved from their places and took up positions at Baal Tamar, and the Israelite ambush charged out of its place on the west of Gibeah. 34Then ten thousand of Israel’s able young men made a frontal attack on Gibeah. The fighting was so heavy that the Benjamites did not realize how near disaster was. 35The Lord defeated Benjamin before Israel, and on that day the Israelites struck down 25,100 Benjamites, all armed with swords.

Introduction

Someone promised, “I’ll swim the deepest sea, climb the highest mountain if that’s what it take to win your love.” Many lovers promised impossible things just to impress the woman they love. Do you easily believe when one promises?

God loves us and promises things He surely accomplishes. Trusting that God will fulfill His promise is practical display of faith. It is only by faith is Christ that we can believe God fulfills His promise. It teaches us in 2 Corinthians 1:20, 20For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

When we come across God’s promise in the Scripture, the Spirit of Christ in us will confirm if He intentionally gives His promise to us personally. The Lord gives wisdom also on how His promise would be fulfilled in us.

Previously, the Israelites were twice defeated by the Benjamites. So, they inquired of the Lord the third time in Judges 20:28, 28“Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites, or not?” The Lord responded, “Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.”

The Lord promised victory and indeed, the Israelites were victorious against the Benjamites. Did God give them strategy or wisdom on how to defeat the Benjamites? Did God tell the Israelites to set an ambush?

1. Ambush

29Then Israel set an ambush around Gibeah. 30They went up against the Benjamites on the third day and took up positions against Gibeah as they had done before. 31The Benjamites came out to meet them and were drawn away from the city. They began to inflict casualties on the Israelites as before, so that about thirty men fell in the open field and on the roads—the one leading to Bethel and the other to Gibeah. 32While the Benjamites were saying, “We are defeating them as before,” the Israelites were saying, “Let’s retreat and draw them away from the city to the roads.”

It was not recorded if God gave the Israelites a strategy of ambush. At first, they relied upon their strength and number. They may have assumed that since they were more numerous, they can intimidate the Benjamites.  But twice they were defeated. When they set an ambush, it implies that they relied on wisdom.

Nobody among the 400,000 Israelites swordsmen suggested the idea of ambush. We can interpret it as God’s work in their life when they were united in the idea to set an ambush around Gibeah. It’s a deviation from the idea of utilizing their large number to fight against the Benjamites.

Their victory against the Benjamites illustrates what Proverbs 16:3 says: 3Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

When at first, the Israelites asked the Lord who would initiate their attack against the Benjamites, it implies that they already have battle strategy. After they were defeated in their first attack, they asked God if they would attack again. It implies that they still wanted to use the same strategy they used at first attack.

The third time they inquired of God, they asked if they attack or not. That inquiry implies that they doubted themselves. They wanted to rely upon God. God assured them of victory, and had a better strategy—set an ambush. They were victorious when they relied upon the Lord and not on their strength.

King Jehoshaphat

King Jehoshaphat had proven that seeking the Lord’s help against their enemies is the best strategy believers should make. When he was told that enemies were coming to attack them, Jehoshaphat was terrified. It narrated in

2 Chronicles 20:3-4, 3Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

The term “alarmed” can be translated as ‘scared’ or ‘shaking in fear.’ King Jehoshaphat was so afraid because their enemies were already few days away from Jerusalem. The story says that the Lord made the enemies fought against each other. It says in 2 Chronicles 20:24-25, 24When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.

What is it that you are terrified of—problems, concerns of the future? Seek the Lord’s help. Ask for wisdom how you may approach or solve your problem. Make sure that you’ve got the Lord’s approval of your strategy or plan.

2. Approve

33All the men of Israel moved from their places and took up positions at Baal Tamar, and the Israelite ambush charged out of its place on the west of Gibeah. 34Then ten thousand of Israel’s able young men made a frontal attack on Gibeah. The fighting was so heavy that the Benjamites did not realize how near disaster was. 35The Lord defeated Benjamin before Israel, and on that day the Israelites struck down 25,100 Benjamites, all armed with swords.

Setting an ambush may have been the best strategy they agreed together.

It could be classified as very simple strategy but God has approved it so far. Furthermore, the Benjamites had become overconfident that they will defeat the Israelites again. Why? Twice they defeated them, right?

When the Benjamites saw that the Israelites were retreating, they thought that the Israelites were running away again, just like the first and the second attack, and there were already 30 casualties. In their arrogance, they were deceived to believe that they were superior enough to win again.

It says in Isaiah 2:17, 17The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

The Benjamites were very arrogant because of their expertise in battle. They knew that they can easily defeat the Israelites but they were mistaken. They Lord was against them, their arrogance and wickedness.

Cocky fighters

One can easily search the internet and find videos of cocky fighters who were victimized by their arrogance. Arrogance is pride that the Lord hates.

It says in James 4:6, 6God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.

Humility is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Lord favors believers who allow the Holy Spirit produces humility in their life. The fruit of the Spirit that believers experience in their life can be total description of favorable things, circumstance, events or situations that the Lord gives to believers.

They included in the Lord’s promise in Matthew 6:33, 33Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Seeking His kingdom is allowing Christ to perform His lordship over us.

Seeking His righteousness is to have His righteousness be our lifestyle.

The things we need to live a lifestyle of righteous have been given to us when we personally and sincerely accepted Christ into our heart.

It says in 2 Peter 1:3-4, 3His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

If that is so, if everything we need to for godly life has been given, what else do we need? We need faith to believe it, to be reminder to always let Christ perform His lordship in us and have His righteousness be our lifestyle.

We need to be always reminded because we are limited in out memory.

Ask yourself, “Do I believe that I have received everything I need for godly life?”

If there’s doubt, ask God to strengthen your faith and keep asking until assured.

><((‘> … ><(((‘> … tmec\2019 <‘)))>< … <‘))><

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