But the Israelites encouraged one another and again took up their positions where they had stationed themselves the first day.
Like the Israelites in our verse for today, you have been commissioned for battle by the Lord. For you, it’s not necessarily a military battle, but it could be a family battle, an economic battle, a science battle, an educational battle, a political battle, a legal battle, an artistic battle, or something else. Whatever kind of battle it is, the Lord has commissioned you to take it on with determination and bravery just as in a military battle.
Unfortunately, battles are not always won in the first engagement. Perhaps you battle was like the Israelites—you went forth and engaged the enemy, but you suffered an initial defeat (Judges 20:21). Since the Lord had commissioned you for battle, you may have assumed victory was assured. You thought one round of fighting was all that would be needed. But then you began to question. The fear in your heart made you ask yourself: “Should I continue to press the battle? Should I show up for the next round of fighting? Or should I just pack it in and give up?”
Like the Israelites, you decided to brush aside your fears and your questions and show up for the next round. Instead of commiserating in your defeat, you did what the soldiers in our verse for today did. You encouraged yourself. You built yourself up with the words of God. As a result, you began to feel good again. You began to believe that the battle was winnable. Instead of packing it in, you got ready for what would come next.
After all, what else could you do? There’s no rule in the Bible that says all of life’s battles must be resolved on the first foray. Some require days. Some require years. Some you’ll still be fighting when Jesus returns or calls you to heaven.
The point is, you must keep trying. You must keep fighting. As it turned out, the Israelites needed three tries before they gained the victory in this passage. If the Lord is in it, if He has commissioned it, then the only real option is to keep at it.