February 17 – The LORD Crosses Ahead of You


  • Deut. 9:1-11:32


Moses said to the Israelites:

“Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?’ Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you.”
(Deut. 9:1-3 NKJV)

GOD had given the Israelites a great blessing—to be taken from a hard life of slavery where they were despised and looked down upon as foreigners in Egypt to become conquerors and freedmen living in a land that would become their home, in houses and cities which they did not build. But in order to receive that great blessing, the Israelites had to maintain a strong faith.

GOD was fully capable of simply making the inhabitants of Canaan simply disappear, leaving their land desolate. Yet He chose to require Israel to fight battles against those people. GOD was fathering and testing the Israelites to grow their faith and impress upon them a dependence upon Him. By allowing the Israelites to fight He was testing whether they would have enough faith to trust the promise He had given them.

By taking such a small, wimpy and untrained group of men as Israel’s slaves and using them to defeat strong and mighty nations living in fortified cities, GOD was showing that He was really the One fighting their battles. GOD wanted them to see that if they trusted in His promise andput their trust in His ability to protect them, they would be successful.

Each of us will face battles at times in our life. Our battles are often not physical in nature—meaning we often don’t physically pick up a sword or a gun and go to fight against other people. Rather, as Christians, most of our battles are against spiritual enemies. The good news is that GOD has given us armor to win the battle. The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness 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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…
(Eph. 6:10-18 NKJV)


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