After each tribe received a body part from the Levite's concubine, they meet together to deal with this craziness in their culture. With sexual sin running rampant in one particular tribe, the group goes to God and asks for their next step. He tells Judah to lead the way into battle against the tribe of Benjamin. When they go to war, they go fully prepared, but they lose the first two days of battles. They return to the Lord after every defeat trying to understand their mistakes, but He kept encouraging them to keep up the fight. Finally, they made some wise decisions and won the war. We must take special note that they did not win the war with one battle. It took multiple attacks to rid their nation of this wickedness. We assume that God wants us to live in victory every moment of every day, and we get frustrated when that does not happen. Why would God allow His people to be defeated twice by a wicked tribe who had fallen away from Him? This was not about the tribe of Benjamin; this was about all those men from the other tribes who came to fight. God wanted to push and stretch their faith so He allowed them to lose some ground before taking it all back. Did Israel give up after two defeats? They did not! They listened to the Lord, learned from their mistakes, and enjoyed victory over their enemies. God is not so consumed with today that He cannot see tomorrow, and He is preparing us for tomorrow even through our defeats today.

Help me, Lord, to stay the course through victories and defeats knowing they all have a purpose for my life. Help me to listen, learn, and eventually enjoy the victory that comes only through You.