THE CAUSE OF DEFEAT
“And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.” Judges 2:14
God’s people pay a tremendous price when they refuse to obey the Lord. When we rebel against His will, we sacrifice our sweet fellowship with the Savior and the power of God working in our lives. God does not want His children to be defeated. He has promised us victory and provided that victory through His Son, the power of the cross, and the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. However, that victory is conditioned upon our obedience to Him and submission to His will.
In our text, God’s anger “was hot against Israel.” The reason He was angry with His people was because they were forsaking Him, following the gods of the heathen and disobeying His Word. As a result, the Lord “delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them…so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.” They would be defeated in the face of their enemies. Defeat came because of their disobedience. Defeat was a part of their chastisement.
When God’s people are defeated, it is a tragic thing. Families suffer. Many people pay a great price. God’s work is affected and hindered. Reproach is brought on the name of our precious Savior because of our defeat. Defeat does not bring glory to God. One has to wonder how many of God’s children today are defeated. God wants us to have victory in our lives. He wants to give us victory over temptation. He wants us to have boldness in our witness for Him. He wants to help us keep our sinful flesh in submission. He wants to give victory over destructive habits. He wants to make us more Christ-like in our character and attitudes. He wants us to be victorious in our lives. God wants us to experience His joy and power, even in the difficulties of life. We are more than conquerors through Him. We are on the winning side, but that victory will only be realized as we obey Him and follow Him.
We are not defeated because the enemies of righteousness are too strong for God to conquer. Like the nation of Israel, when we turn from the Lord and refuse His way, defeat will eventually come. But if we follow Him closely, He will guide us to victory.