Going Into Battle
Daily Bible Reading – Deuteronomy 19-21; Galatians 3
Today’s Key Passage – Deuteronomy 20:1-4
As the Israelites stood at the edge of the Promised Land, everyone knew what was coming. They knew that soon they would cross the Jordan to claim the land that God had promised them. They also reasoned that most of the land was not going to just be handed over to them – they were going to have to go to war. Forty years earlier, the Israelites were too afraid to fight for the land. They were on the edge of the Promised Land then as well, but the fear of battle was too much for them to overcome. Because of that decision, they spent the next forty years wandering around the desert, and Moses did not want to see this repeated with this generation. Our key passage today starts with the words, “When you go to war”. Notice that Moses did not say “if” you go to war, he said “when”. It was a foregone conclusion that the Israelites were going to have to fight, but Moses tells the Israelites that even though they would see horses, chariots and an army far greater than theirs, they should not be afraid because God was fighting with them and for them. Moses tells the Israelites that when they go to war, the priest should address the army and say, “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
All of us must go into battle at some point. For a lot of us, the battle might not be physical as it was for the Israelites or as it is for the men and women in our armed forces. Instead, the battles that we fight might be emotional or spiritual in nature. We might find ourselves in a situation where we need to stand up for what is right. We might need to correct another Christian. We might be fighting a temptation or an addiction. Whatever the case may be, our natural tendency might be to feel fear. Even if it is not the “shaking in our boots” type of fear we see in the movies, we might still feel a sense of dread knowing what we will ultimately need to do. When we start to feel those feelings, we should remind ourselves of this passage. We should remember the Israelites as they stood at the brink of battle for the Promised Land. We should not be fainthearted. We should not be afraid. We should not be terrified or give way to panic. For the Lord OUR God is the one who goes with us. He will fight for us against our enemies. He will give us victory. Even if we do not achieve immediate victory in our “battle”, we can rest in the knowledge that God has promised each of us an eternal victory in the Kingdom of Heaven. Knowing that, what is left to fear?
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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Posted on March 12, 2014, in 05 - Deuteronomy and tagged Bible, Book of Deuteronomy, Christian, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, God, Israelite, Jesus, Jordan, Kingdom of Heaven, Moses, Perseverance, Questioning God, Religion. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.