“And they took in their hands some of the fruit of the land and brought it down to us…and said, ‘It is a good land that the LORD our God is giving us.’ Yet you would not go up…And you murmured in your tents and said, ‘Because the LORD hated us he has brought us out of the land of Egypt, to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. Where are we going up? Our brothers have made our hearts melt, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we. The cities are great and fortified up to heaven. And besides, we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.”’ Then I said to you, ‘Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.”
Oh, how easily we forget the faithfulness of our God. How He has brought us thus far. The power He has displayed. The wisdom He has demonstrated. How He has fought for us in the past. How He has carried us each step of the way.
Will He not do the same now?
Our God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). With righteousness and justice as the foundation of His throne (Psalm 89:14). Whose name at the end of the ages will be known as Faithful and True – because He will never have shown Himself to be otherwise (Revelation 19:11). “Of old you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end” (Psalm 102:25-27).
The battles we are facing today, or ones we will encounter in the future, might look worse than any other. Greater, stronger enemies. Well-fortified obstacles. Insurmountable odds. So far beyond our strength or abilities that all we can see to do is look out upon the battlefield and try to shield ourselves from the onslaught. Wondering how God could bring us here, caught in a defenseless position.
Take heart, believer, for the Lord Himself who goes before you will fight for you. And He will hold His place as your shield. Just as He has before. It will be a hard-fought battle, but well worth it for the glory God will receive and the good of the land He brings you into.
When the Israelites went into the Promised Land, they did not go in with a sense of defeat. They did not go in fearful. The cities were still fortified. Their enemies were still great and powerful – but they knew their God was more so. They knew it was He who went before them and would fight for them. And with that confidence, they strapped on their armor, ready to join in the fight as He called them to. Just as David did as a boy, standing without fear before Goliath. Confident not because he was a good shot with stones and a sling, but because he knew the God who was with him (1 Samuel 17:45-50).
“For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? — the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze” (Psalm 18:31-34).
“Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you…Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:5,9).
We are not defeated. We need not cower before the enemy. Because our God is with us. Going before us and coming behind us as our rear guard (Isaiah 52:12). Fighting for us and also strengthening us when we are to join Him in the fight.
Let us look to Him, confident. Ready to move on the offensive at His leading – but steady and sure to wait for His command.
“Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.”
“Finally be strong in the LORD and in the strength of his might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand firm.”