“Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and them which came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them.”
The tribe of Benjamin made a classic mistake that is often made by many believers in that they thought because they had won previous battles that the present battle would be easily won. What the tribe of Benjamin did not take into consideration was that the other tribes of Israel had learned from the previous two battles, and they changed their plan and finally won against Benjamin.
One of the sad statements about this battle is found in the verse above when it says, “…but the battle overtook them…” These men who finally died in the battle were men who had fought many battles before and won, but it was this last battle that overtook them. What is sad is that these men were not remembered for the previous battles they had won, but they were remembered for being overtaken in the battle.
This incident in the tribe of Benjamin’s history could be said about many believers. There are many believers who once used to do things for God, but they were overtaken in the battle. My friend, you should never get used to people being overtaken in the battle. You should never rejoice in the fact that the battle has claimed another believer. Instead, you should mourn that another good warrior has been overtaken, and you should consider yourself so that you are not the next victim to be overtaken in the battle. When I look at this incident, I see several truths and cautions that every believer should carefully consider.
First, being overtaken in the battle only means they were in the battle. Don’t be critical of the person who was overtaken in the battle because at least they were in the battle. Nobody can be overtaken by the battle if they are not in the battle. Those who are in the battle have the potential of being overtaken by the battle if they are not circumspect in their walk with God. If you don’t want to be the next victim of the battle, you had better be very careful about allowing sin in your life by keeping a daily walk with God.
Second, overconfidence is always a precursor to falling in the battle. Just because you have won previous battles like the tribe of Benjamin had doesn’t mean you will win the next battle. You have to treat every battle as if it is your first. You have to be as careful about the next battle as you were about the first battle.
Third, carelessness has claimed many believers. When you become overconfident in your abilities is when you become careless in the battle. Satan loves it when a believer becomes overconfident in their abilities because he knows they will become careless in the spiritual warfare. Everyone who has fallen to sin in the battle became careless before they fell. Past spiritual victories do not give you permission or a pass to commit sin. Carelessness with sin and your walk will become your downfall if you rely on the power of past victories for the next battle.
Fourth, working in the power of the flesh always leads to the believer being overtaken in the battle. You cannot fight spiritual battles with fleshly strength; you can only fight spiritual battles through the power of the Holy Ghost. Stay yielded to the Holy Ghost, and you will find that the battle will never overtake you.