Moses has gathered the people one last time,
as they stand east of the Jordan, readying themselves to crossover.
He is engaged in a re-telling of their wanderings these past forty years...
of their struggles and also their victories.
For Moses knows the importance of passing on
this heritage from one generation to the next.
Especially to tell of those times when they allowed God to move.
So that in the days ahead, we can rely upon Him more.
For there was a time when they had come
to a territory possessed by a great king.
One of giant status... literally.
And the Israelites asked if they could simply journey across the edge.
They would not disturb the land, not eat from it, nor interfere with it's people.
And Moses spoke...
“But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass through,
for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate,
that He might deliver him into your hand, as it is this day.
Deuteronomy 2:30 NKJV
What a strange and curious thing.
Because our natural, human minds want to make things seem easier...
And when we pray for God's help,
we assume that He will cause the people around us to cooperate.
But that's not what happened here.
The Israelites were begin led by God...
following the right way.
And they needed to cross this land.
So they did the right thing and asked permission.
They even asked for God's help in this.
But the king said, "NO!"
As a matter of fact, the king was so hardened by God,
that he and his men came out fighting.
And Moses continued...
“And the Lord said to me,
‘See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you.
Begin to possess it, that you may inherit his land.’
Then Sihon and all his people came out against us to fight at Jahaz.
And the Lord our God delivered him over to us;
so we defeated him, his sons, and all his people.
We took all his cities at that time,
and we utterly destroyed the men, women, and little ones of every city;
we left none remaining.
We took only the livestock as plunder for ourselves,
with the spoil of the cities which we took.
Now, I'm just going to be honest here...
If I believe that I'm heading in the right direction, following God,
but I get to a place where someone, or something is in my way,
and I pray that God will let me move forward,
but there is this hard battle...
especially one that comes out and attacks me,
I think I may just shrink back in fear.
I may just run the other way.
If I had faced a giant king that said, "NO!"
I might have just looked up to the heavens and said,
"So... did you hear that, God?"
But that's not how God shows His power in our lives.
Not through the easy things.
If Sihon, the king of Bashan, had just sat back and said,
"Hey, y'all... come on through. Stay for a while, have a snack."
Then God could not have helped the Israelites conquer...
and they would not have gained the territory.
God wanted them to possess that land.
King Sihon was not on God's side.
He did not worship God, but had other idols.
Our God wanted that land for His people.
Our God wants you and me to have territory claimed in His name as well.
He wants us to see victory in our lives.
But He is not going to have us just walk through and visit places,
waving at kings and eating snacks.
He wants us to see His power and take possession.
He want us to dispossess the places where our hearts are hardened...
where others may have hardened hearts as well,
and win them over to Him.
Word of God... train me, today...
to know that Your answers to my prayers will not always make sense to me,
to press in, even when other's hearts are stubborn and heavy toward You.
Lord, I thank You
that Moses tells us plainly
that Your way to victory
will not always make sense to us.
I thank You that you encourage us
to walk with You daily
so that we can learn such amazing truths
from Your Word.
Help me today to remain in Your path.
Help me today to be strong and courageous.
Help me today to not shrink from the battle,
but rather know that You will always fight for me.
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