“And the children of Israel enquired of the LORD, (for the ark of the covenant of God [was] there in those days, And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to-morrow I will deliver them into thine hand….But when the flame began to arise up out of the city with a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and, behold, the flame of the city ascended up to heaven.And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil was come upon them….So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these [were] men of valour.” Judges 20:27,28,40,41,46
Judges 20 marks one of the darkest moments in Israel’s early history. The men of Gibeah in Benjamin committed an unspeakable crime and the other tribes of Israel rose up against the city to bring punishment. But the men of Benjamin came to the defense of their brother city and opposed the will of the national leadership. Battle ensued. God took the side against Benjamin and brought punishment down upon the heads of not just Gibeah but the entire tribe.
In hindsight perhaps Benjamin realized they should have just stayed out of the way. What was it I wonder that made them rise to the defense of Gibeah: Pride, loyalty, misguided grace?
How many times have I gotten in the way of God’s work in someone else’s life for one of these reasons? How many of life’s lumps came to me simply because I didn’t know enough to back off when God was doing harder work in someone I cared about? I wonder.
Have you ever stepped in God’s way when He was trying to deal with someone else’s life?
Unfortunately, it always seem to be in hindsight that I realize this. May God open my eyes and hears to His ways before I step in to “help”. Thank you, Lord for I know you hear my prayers.
A-men Deb! This is so true. It is often in the process of reaching out to help in a situation that I find out I should have just let things take their course. I am learning to pray before I help.
Me too Deb! May God help us both to see beforehand when we are going to step in His way!
This is so good, Pastor J, and now I’m joining you in praying before I help. I have the tendency to be an enabler . .which is NOT helpful! God bless you as you keep your heart open before Him.
Thanks Deb! And praying for success in this area for both of us!
Very good posting…. gives us all something to think about! I am sure I have stood in the Lord’s way at different times. It is like you say our intentions may be good but we are still out of the Lord’s will when we do it! Lord bless.
So true. They say “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” I wonder how many times have my good intentions kept someone on the hot pavement rather than bringing them liberation? May God mercifully direct me away from all co-dependent behavior!