This text deserves some reflection: “The men of Israel gave ground to Benjamin, because they trusted the men in ambush whom they had set against Gibeah” (Judges 20:36 ESV).
1. They trusted a plan.
This was their third attempt, and first time to really plan out their attack. The NIV translates the phrase, “they relied on the ambush.”
We need a plan, a good plan, and then we need to trust it by going through with our part.
2. They trusted their fellow soldiers.
It was risky business retreating before an army that had licked them twice before. If those waiting in ambush didn’t come through, it would have been impossible to stop, reorganize and meet the oncoming Benjamites.
We need to gather people around us whom we can work with and trust to do their part; in the church, we can find saints who will be true companions and co-laborers.
3. They trusted the Lord.
After twice asking and getting a positive reply to go to war against Gibeah, and after twice getting beaten back, the Israelites were perplexed. More than that they cried and fasted before the Lord, and he told them that this third time he would give the city into their hand. Then, there was no saying, “Third time’s charm.” This was a real issue of whether or not they would trust in the Lord to take the city.
When the Lord makes a promise, he means it. It may seem that we’re getting beaten, but he will choose his time to deliver. Ours is to persevere.