Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 20:26-28
"Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the Lord, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
And the children of Israel inquired 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."
The husband of the women that was slain by the men in Gibeah of Benjamin told the chiefs of children of Israel what had happened. They were all united together that the men in Gibeah that had done this evil should be delivered up. When they went to the tribe of Benjamin to have this happen they refused to give the men up. What happened next is several sore battles and Benjamin was winning. After the battles the children of Israel gather and ask the Lord if they should still go up against their brothers in battle. The Lord tells them yes, and they went to battle and lost again. With more weeping and fasting they approach the Lord again and ask if they should go up to battle again. This time not only are they told yes, but that the Lord would deliver them into their hands. This time they have a plan on how to overtake them and it works.
So why didn't they succeed the first time the Lord told them to still go up to battle? I think it was to humble Israel and have them learn to rely completely on the Lord. I have experienced failures when I knew the Lord wanted me to do something. Only to find the lesson was in the failure and not the supposed thing I thought to be the outcome. Then with new understanding that thing could be done the Lord's way, if it was even still required at all.