Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Deuteronomy 20:1-4 (NIV)
When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them,because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
Deuteronomy 20:1-4 (MSG)
When you go to war against your enemy and see horses and chariots and soldiers far outnumbering you, do not recoil in fear of them; God, your God, who brought you up out of Egypt is with you. When the battle is about to begin, let the priest come forward and speak to the troops. He’ll say, “Attention, Israel. In a few minutes you’re going to do battle with your enemies. Don’t waver in resolve. Don’t fear. Don’t hesitate. Don’t panic. God, your God, is right there with you, fighting with you against your enemies, fighting to win.”
“When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. When you approach the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people, and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: you are advancing today to battle against your enemies. Do not lack courage. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble [in terror] before them, for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’” -AMPLIFIED
Notice the opening words of this chapter on warfare. They are, “When you go to war,” not “IF” you go to war. War was to be expected. God wanted His people to be prepared for what lay ahead. The land of Canaan was going to gained by conquering it. God had given it to the Israelites as their inheritance, but they needed to go in and take that inheritance as their own.
Moses tells the people, “This is how you should act during wartime: When you go to battle against your enemies, if you see their army is larger than yours and they have horses and chariots, don’t be afraid of them! The Eternal your God is with you—the same God who defeated Pharaoh and brought you out of Egypt.” -Deuteronomy 20:1 (VOICE)
Notice with me the first thing that Moses instructs them not to do when they encounter an army that is larger than their own. Do not be afraid of them! Why? “Because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.” God has promised time and time again that we do not need to be afraid; for He is always with His children. God spoke these words through Isaiah to His people, “Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady; keep a firm grip on you.” -Isaiah 41:10 (MSG)
Moses then instructs the people what they were to do when they go out to battle. The priest was to stand before them and speak to the army. This priest was to give the troops the ultimate pep talk. He was to say, “Listen, Israel! Today you’re going to fight a battle against your enemies. Don’t be intimidated by them! Don’t be afraid! Don’t run away! Don’t let them terrify you! The Eternal, your True God, has come out here with you, and He’ll fight for you against your enemies and save you.” -Deuteronomy 20:3-4 (VOICE)
We must remember that we too are in the battle of our lives. Fighting for our very souls and the souls of those we love. We must not be afraid; for God is on our side and He is always with us. We must remind ourselves that the battle is the Lord’s! “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. Wear the full armor of God. Wear God’s armor so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks. Our fight is not against people on earth. We are fighting against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness. We are fighting against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.” -Ephesians 6:10-12
In Psalm 20 David reminds us that we do not need to fear the enemy; instead we should have confidence in our God. “I don’t fear; I’m confident that help will come to the one anointed by the Eternal: heaven will respond to his plea; His mighty right hand will win the battle. Many put their hope in chariots, others in horses, but we place our trust in the name of the Eternal One, our True God. Soon our enemies will collapse and fall, never to return home; all the while, we will rise and stand firm.” -Psalm 20:6-8 (VOICE)
You are never alone in this journey of life. Do not fear; for the Lord your God goes before you. He watches over you and He will protect you. He fights your every battle; for the battle is His. Be prepared; have your armor on, and be confident that He will help you every step of the battle. Trust Him!
Lord, I thank you for the fact that you never leave me or forsake me. I thank you for the fact that you go before me and you protect and keep me. Others may trust in many things, but I choose to trust in you; the Lord, my God! I will not fear; for the battle is yours. Help me not only to be prepared for this battle, but to fight it with the weapons that you have put at my disposal. In You I will stand firm.