Have you ever felt led by God to do a hard thing, prayed about it, obeyed His leading, only to fail? What do you do about that?
The men of Israel felt led to go to war against the tribe of Benjamin because of the grievous sin that tribe had committed. But even though the Israelites got the go-ahead from God, the tribe of Benjamin routed them. 22,000 Israelite soldiers died that day.
But the men of Israel encouraged one another and again took up their positions where they had stationed themselves the first day. (20:22)
They wept, and prayed, asking God if they should continue to go up against Benjamin. God said, “Go.” And 18,000 more Israelites died in that second battle.
So all the people went to Bethel, weeping, fasting, praying, making sacrifices and offerings. “God,” they asked, “should we fight our brother or not?” God assured them the victory.
They obeyed God even after two disasterous attempts. And they soundly beat Benjamin’s tribe.
Sometimes we might think if God is in it, we ought to have victory. If God prompts us to talk to someone about Him, we ought to see that person repent. If God leads us into a new job, we ought to have success.
Can God nudge us toward failure? He did here in Judges.
I guess I take from this the idea that our obedience is the most important thing. Not the outcome of our obedience. The question isn’t, am I successful, but am I obedient?
If God is in it, failure shouldn’t be the final act. The Israelites went to war three times before they saw a victory.
I figure obedience is my responsibility. I’ll let the outcome up to God.