And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land. Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.
The children of Israel, after 40 years of wilderness wandering were on the brink of entering the promised land, and earlier on in chapter 2 God begins the journey with instructions to pass through certain parts of the country that are not intended to be theirs, but then came Sihon… and the Lord said it’s already yours, but not without a fight.
There are some beautiful things in life that I’d like to have. My “wanter” is alive and well. But for reasons, some known and some unknown, I have yet to achieve or receive. So this morning as I read through this chapter and heard God tell Israel, “move along, this isn’t your stop.” my heart sank a little. I’ve had to move along a lot in my 30 some odd years of adulthood. Most of which was for the same reason Israel wandered in the first place, rebellion, plain and simple. But now Israel is about to possess their portion of land, the day is finally arriving that they’ve longed for, but not without a fight.
My first thought was, “Why didn’t God strike fear in the enemies hearts and cause them to run, as He had others, why did they have to fight?” God not only didn’t strike fear in them, in verse 30 it says “But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.” God stirred up a ruckus.
A Battle Strengthens the Mind
God told them in verse 31 to “begin to possess” the land. It was mindset they needed to have before the battle ever began. I’m not a ‘name it and claim it’ gal, but I believe there are some things that God intends His people to have and before we get it we have to make up our mind that it’s ours. It may not be a tangible something, perhaps it’s a position in life, or a victory over an issue, but whatever it is you’ll know. Because God will give you clues in advance. It’s those desires of the heart that are for His glory.
A Battle Strengthens the Man
Much like the physical battle strengthens the physical man, a spiritual battle will serve to strengthen the spirit of man. If God gave us everything we asked for, we’d be weak and puny Christians; but knowing that our adversary the Devil strikes against us every day, I believe that God puts some training maneuvers in our lives to build us for the battle. The battle we’re in may just be boot camp.
A Battle Strengthens the Memorial
How many movies have been made from the wars America has fought? We love reliving those time of Victory. The victories of Israel according to history occurred in 1422 BC, and here we are in the year of our Lord 2014 remembering their Victory. It’s good to remind ourselves of the sweetness of a battle won, it encourages our hearts.
My ‘wanter’ still wants. There are desires in my heart that just may be on the brink of reality, but I may still have to fight. You may too… get your boots on soldier…