"Snippets" from David
Judges 20:34 says the following concerning the tribe of Benjamin fighting for the city of Gibeah:
When ten thousand choice men from all Israel came against Gibeah, the battle became fierce; but Benjamin did not know that disaster was close to them. [NAS, emphasis mine]
The context of this statement centers in the battle between the tribe of Benjamin and the rest of Israel. This battle occurred because the tribe of Benjamin refused to surrender the wicked men who committed the atrocity in Judges 19:22-30 (see also Judges 20:8-16). That the wickedness occurred was beyond question. However, the men of Benjamin were determined to keep the wicked Benjamites from facing the consequences of their evil acts (Judges 20:13).
Two initial victories gave the men of Benjamin a destructive case of overconfidence (Judges 20:32). In a literal translation, ďevil was touching them,Ē and they did not recognize the danger.
Paul, writing to gentile Christians converted to Christianity from idolatry, said in Ephesians 6:12:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Paul wrote these words after urging them (verses 10, 11) to fully strengthen themselves spiritually by wearing Godís armor. Just after this statement (verses 13-17), he stressed Godís armor was constructed of these values: truth, righteousness, the good news of peace, faith, and Godís Spirit revealed in Godís word.
The statement of Ephesians 6:12 significantly states much is happening in the struggle between good and evil in this world (as God opposes Satanís influence) that goes far beyond our convenience, desire, or pleasure. The significance of struggles is much beyond what happens to us physically.
That is a critical understanding as Christians witness injustice, are tempted by the seduction of physical and emotional pleasure, endure pain and hardship, and watch as evil temporally defeats good on the physical scene. Rather than becoming victims of distress, Christians realize the situation involves matters much greater than us.
In the first situation involving the Benjamite warriors defending Gibeah, they did not realize their destructive situation until it was too late (Judges 20:41). One moment they were deceived into believing they were on the edge of yet another victory. An instant later they knew disaster was upon them.
The greed of materialism, the selfishness of pleasure, and the adrenalin of success easily can make us think victory is in our grasp when disaster is upon us. Too late, we realize materialism, pleasure, and success are, at best, only deceitful distractions. The agonizing distress: those distractions not only consume us, but they also consume those we love.
Evil makes us bold in destructive ways. In evil, victory is only a deception.
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