War has always been a topic of hot debate, but in my opinion war falls in the category of “necessary evils,” amongst others topics, which I choose not to divulge in this morning. Nevertheless, in this biblical text of Judges 20, the people of Israel felt that war was necessary to avenge the brutal rape and murder of a Levite man’s wife.
And even though we may have never fought in a physical war, if we were to think real carefully we too would admit that we’ve been engaged in some personal internal battles and wars over our lifetime. Yes, we may have never picked up a gun to defend ourselves, but we’ve had to fight some internal struggles and we’ve been at war against some hidden demons that only we know about. Paul declared in the New Testament book of 2 Corinthians that he has a daily war with a “thorn in his flesh,” in the Old Testament David is a prime example of a man that was at war with his own lust and pride, but God said he knew his heart. The reality is, whether we like to admit it or not, we all have fought and will continue to fight the spiritual and mental battle against some of our bad habits and ungodly ways. The bible says in Ephesians 6, 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” We may not be in a physical fight, but we are in a spiritual civil war. We may be fighting depression, we may be at war with loneliness, we may be at war with our health, we may be at war with our with alcohol, we may be at war with drugs, we may be at war with anger, pride, or greed, but the BIBLE says we can win this war, if we keep God in the midst of everything.
How Can We WIN the War?
1. The first thing we need to do understand is that their is a benefit in “praising God in advance” before we go into battle! In our text, verse #18, the people ask God, “who shall we send first to attack the tribe of Benjamin?” If we flip back to Judges ch. 1, when the people were going to fight the Caanaanites, they too asked the Lord, “who shall we send first?” In both times, God responds, “send Judah first!” Going into war, send JUDAH! Going to fight a demon, send JUDAH first! What? Who is JUDAH?? The word JUDAH in its original language actually means, now get this, “PRAISE.” Let US PRAISE 1st!!
2. We are to be PERSISTENT! In the text, it took the people three different tries to defeat the Benjamites, they lost 40,030 soldiers! However, each time they kept fighting until they won! So while we may be struggling with issues, situations, habits, and people for many years now, I believe PERSISTENCE pays off!!
3. We are to always abide, bask, and seek the PRESENCE of God while in battle! In the text, the people kept seeking God for guidance, they went to the place called Bethel, which means “house of God,” and they kept the ark of the covenant with them which represented the PRESENCE of God! In war, have the PRESENCE with you at all times!
Be Blessed and Bold!!