Having written all that I did in the last blog, I am compelled to lay out a blueprint from the Bible that helps us understand the season we are in.
Kislev is the month that is upon us in the Hebrew calendar, and if you have my “Firstfruits” book, you can read more about this ninth month that is associated with Benjamin. But I wanted to point out one portion that is relevant for us today.
Benjamin was the only tribe of Israel that almost got wiped out by their own “family;” which was all the other tribes of Israel. If it were not for God’s divine intervention, there wouldn’t have been a tribe of Benjamin! In Judges 20, it was Benjamin’s stubbornness to hold on and defend their iniquity that almost wiped out the whole tribe, including the righteous:
“Then the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, ‘What is this wickedness that has occurred among you? Now therefore, deliver up the men, the perverted men who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and remove the evil from Israel!’
But the children of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren, the children of Israel. Instead, the children of Benjamin gathered together from their cities, to Gibeah, to go to battle against the children of Israel” (Judges 20:12-14).
After this declaration, the Benjamites gathered 22,000 men to battle against the tribes of Israel. But the Israelites had no desire to fight against their brethren, even though they had to stand up against the unrighteousness. So they sought the Lord, asking for His direction, and even interceded for the Benjamites.
God directed the tribe of Judah to go up first to fight against the Benjamites. This directive resulted in a 20,000 men loss, not victory.
The Israelites somehow found a way to encourage themselves to prepare another line for battle. Then they went before the Lord for more counsel since things weren’t adding up as they watched all their own men die. God continued to direct them to go against the Benjamites.
On the second day, the Israelites went out to battle the Benjamites again, and 18,000 Israelites were slaughtered. I can’t imagine how discouraged they must have been.
Then all the Israelites went up to the house of the Lord and wept. They sat there and fasted until evening and gave the Lord sacrificial offerings. The Lord said for a third time to go against the Benjamites.
It was the third day of fighting, and the Benjamites began to strike some of the Israelites. 30 men died. The Benjamites were feeling pretty confident with themselves and said, “They are defeated before us, as at first”(Judges 20:32).
BUT GOD HAD A STRATEGIC PLAN. AND IT WAS GOING TO BE EXECUTED WITH A SUDDEN AMBUSH THAT CAUGHT ALL THE BENJAMITES OFF GUARD!
“And then thousand select men from all Israel came against Gibeah, and the battle was fierce. But the Benjamites did not know that disaster was upon them. The Lord defeated Benjamin before Israel. And the children of Israel destroyed that day 25,100 Benjamites, all these drew the sword” (Judges 20:34,35).
It was after that battle that the Benjamites panicked, because they realized that they were about to be completely destroyed. Unfortunately for all, the blood bath continued, and all the cities of the Benjamites were set ablaze. What remained only were 600 Benjamites who fled and toward the wilderness. It would take the hand of God to revive the tribe of Benjamin, which He did, and generations later, they became known as “sons of light.”
When Christ began His ministry, the Benjamites were the ones in whom Jesus chose to be His disciples. This was a fulfillment of the prophetic word spoken over them in 1 Kings 11 to be a tribe attached to Judah so they would be “God’s lamp/light.”
“And to his son I will give one tribe (Benajmites), that My servant David may always have a LAMP before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there”(1 Kings 11:36).
In order to fulfill that call, they returned to Jerusalem with the tribe of Judah after the Babylonian captivity. But when the unrighteous leadership of the Pharisees and the Sadducees came into power, many of the Benjamites SEPARATED themselves from the iniquity and migrated to Galilee, which is how they became known as the Galileans.
It was this small remnant that ended up lighting up the world with Christ’s message to the world. How strikingly different was the Benjamites fate in the New Testament verse the Old because of their decision to separate themselves from iniquity.
Prior to Christ’s coming, it was not an easy environment to live in. The Jewish leaders were controlling the people with their “traditions of men.” The Hellenists were trying to take over the area with their Greek god philosophy and pagan rituals. And the Romans were trying to gain power and control over all. It was chaotic to say the least, and I am sure that living in that time looked a lot like today.
BUT, GOD HAD A PLAN! This remnant of believers were going to be the ones the Lord would choose to execute the multiplicity of His plan to bring His Kingdom here on the earth IF they accepted the call to leave all and follow Christ.
God had given us a clue to Benjamin’s destiny. His dying mother originally named him “Ben-oi, which meant, “son of sorrow/iniquity.” On her death bed, Rachel confessed her iniquity/sin of when she stole the idols from her fathers house by what she named her son (Gen. 31:19). Even after she was given ample opportunity to rid herself of this sin, it wasn’t until her last breath when she came clean.
But Jacob/Israel wouldn’t allow his newborn son to be named what his dying wife’s wishes were. His apostolic mantle of ensuring the Covenant of God would continue forward under God’s command caused him to rename him, “Benjamin,” which means, “Son of light/right hand.”
These details in the Bible concerning Benjamin’s beginnings really answer the question as to how we read about two totally different Benjamin’s in the bible: The “son’s of sorrow/iniquity” of Judges 20, and the “sons of light” in the Gospels.
The two names of Benjamin can really describe what is happening inside the body of Christ that divides the Church, as well as what is dividing our nation. BOTH have casualties. Some die in right standing with God fighting under His instruction. Some die defending their sin. But in the end, GOD’s plan prevails. And it comes about SUDDENLY, especially when the enemy believes they have the upper hand.
Nationally speaking, God has allowed America to go through this battle within her because we have defended our “iniquity” and adopted it in our culture. Until the people of this nation really come to grips with this and repent and separate ourselves from this iniquity rather than compromise with it, God will allow this war that is dividing us to continue on. Our decisions to omit God are hurting us.
But the Saints have been called to go before the Lord and pray and seek His face. As in the story of Judges 20, they received an answer from the Lord that said they would defeat the enemy. We know how this story ends in victory!! But the reality is, the enemy is appearing as if he is gaining ground and taking out God’s people. Thankfully we have Judges 20 as an example of not giving up on God’s WORD, regardless of the attacks.
The New Testament Benjamites all sacrificed their life for Christ. The majority of them were martyred. How it must have been difficult to follow the instruction of the Lord to GO AND SHARE THE GOOD NEWS, only to get persecuted, thrown in prison, or beheaded! And yet, 2,000 years later, their Seed of obedience has produced a multiplicity of people who know the GOOD NEWS!
Today, God is calling all the Benjamites (remnant) to stand on God’s Word and light up His truth, regardless of what they see or hear. The Benjamites will be the ones God gives authority to root out evil. The Benjamites will be the ones who will restore the foundation of this nation. BUT THEY CANNOT DO THAT IF THEY HOLD ON TO THEIR OWN INIQUITY OR DEFEND SOMETHING THAT IS UNRIGHTEOUS. THEY NEED TO BE THE NEW TESTAMENT BENJAMITES WHO GAVE ALL TO HIS CAUSE AND WERE WILLING TO LET GO OF THEIR INIQUITOUS NATURE AND TAKE ON CHRIST’S IDENTITY.
Jesus paid the price for us to live and be free of our iniquity. We must be willing to let go of control and allow Him to lead. This takes trust, and security in knowing who God is and that He has our best interest at heart.