Judges 20 – Part 3QUESTION: Revenge/Sensationalism - 3ANSWER:Judges 20 – Part 3
by Pastor Nathan Shepherd (Dive Chapel, Candle Key, Florida)
“Now, let’s slow down here for just a minute. What’s going on? Didn’t the Israelites weep and fast and offer offerings? Why is the LORD forsaking them? I would put forth that there is a very large lesson for us here. Remember what we said about the Promised Land of our salvation? We enter the land by FAITH and we live abundantly in the land by OBEDIENCE. The LORD is about reconciliation and He will handle the vengeance. God could have rained hail down on the Benjaminites. He could have had the earth open up and swallow the bad guys who did the crime. You know, the last miracle the Jesus performed during His earthly ministry was to re-attach the ear of the servant of the Chief Priest. That would be the ear that Peter cut off when he took matters into his own hands. Hmmm.
“How many times do Christians today go off-road when they think they see something or someone who needs to be corrected? And, we strongly believe that we are the ones to do the correcting. Wow. Gang, we need to tune into the ultimate truth that God can take care of things Himself. There is always a self-aggrandizing element – remember Gideon, Abimelech, Samson, and those guys? – in our rising up and taking things into our own hands and not truly and deeply seeking God’s counsel on those matters. Hey, He can take care of it!
“In verse 26 all of the children of Israel – the entire nation - went up to the House of God. They wept and fasted until it got dark. They offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. When they inquired of God about fighting the next day, He said to go and He would deliver the army of Benjamin into their hand.
“So, for the third day in a row, the Israelites went up against the tribe of Benjamin. They employed a military strategy they’d used successfully in the past. On that third day, the Israelites – because of superior military strategy and overwhelming numbers – did defeat Benjamin. They won the battle, burned all of the tribe’s towns, put all the people and animals to the sword, and chased 600 men into the hilly, rock fortress of Rimmon. “So what was different that third day? The entire nation of Israel came before God. They wept, they fasted, the offered offerings. Note what that meant. They repented. They didn’t just print bumper stickers and sing ‘God Bless Israel’. They didn’t continue firing each other up in their own power. They humbled themselves and began to change their ways.
“There it is. The lesson for us in Judges 20 is to always seek the LORD in all things. As a country, America must turn back to our Father and seek his guidance, power, purpose, perseverance, and peace. Until we make that leap, we are a country where everybody is doing what is right in their own eyes. And history tells us that is not an advantageous place to be.”Judges 21 – Go!