36 So the sons of Benjamin saw that they were [v]defeated. When the men of Israel gave [w]ground to Benjamin because they relied on the men in ambush whom they had set against Gibeah, 37 the men in ambush hurried and rushed against Gibeah; the men in ambush also deployed and struck all the city with the edge of the sword. 38 Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the men in ambush was that they would make a great cloud of smoke rise from the city. 39 Then the men of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to strike [x]and kill about thirty men of Israel, for they said, “Surely they are [y]defeated before us, as in the first battle.” 40 But when the cloud began to rise from the city in a column of smoke, Benjamin looked behind them; and behold, the whole city was going up in smoke to heaven. 41 Then the men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were terrified; for they saw that [z]disaster was [aa]close to them. 42 Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel toward the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them while those who came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst of them. 43 They surrounded Benjamin, pursued them without rest and trod them down opposite Gibeah toward the [ab]east. 44 Thus 18,000 men of Benjamin fell; all these were valiant warriors. 45 [ac]The rest turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, but they [ad]caught 5,000 of them on the highways and overtook them [ae]at Gidom and [af]killed 2,000 of them. 46 So all of Benjamin who fell that day were 25,000 men who draw the sword; all these were valiant warriors. 47 But 600 men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and they remained at the rock of Rimmon four months. 48 The men of Israel then turned back against the sons of Benjamin and struck them with the edge of the sword, both the entire city with the cattle and all that they found; they also set on fire all the cities which they found.
This reminds me of something that will be emphasized later with either David or Solomon, how it seems that sometimes the wicked seem to get away with what they are doing. And not only that, but they seem to prosper.
But there is a double-edged truth there. First, the enemy of our souls does not want the evil to suffer in this life, so he will afford them every luxury to keep them complacent in the mud and filth of their rebellion. Second, that physical success is temporary, and the wicked will be blown away like chaff. That is, of course, unless they can be reached with the truth before it is too late.
It is often in our suffering and defeat that God will finally break through our facade and draw us back to Him. We get things backwards if we get our perspective drawn away from God, giving credit to Him for things that are pulling us away from Him, and giving the enemy credit for the difficult times in our life. Thank God in all things, and you’ll be able to draw nearer to Him in good times and bad.