WAR STORIES 

We left off hearing Moses recount where Israel had been since leaving Egypt.  He reminds them again here of cities that were protected by God’s promise to Lot. 

Now rise up, said I, and get you over the brook Zered. And we went over the brook Zered.  And the space in which we came from Kadeshbarnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LORD sware unto them.  For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed.  So it came to pass, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people,  That the LORD spake unto me, saying,  Thou art to pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab, this day:  And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.  (That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;  A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead:  As he did to the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, when he destroyed the Horims from before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead even unto this day:  And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.)  Deut 2:13-23 (KJV) 

So God had already delivered the children of Lot and Esau to their Promised Land, destroying giants before them.  The spies of Israel might have had more faith if they had known that.  But I see the same thing today.  Christians often question what God has freely given to others because they lack faith to see those blessings.  Israel was finally ready to enter the battle for a new life. 

Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.  This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.  And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying,  Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the high way, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left.  Thou shalt sell me meat for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only I will pass through on my feet;  (As the children of Esau which dwell in Seir, and the Moabites which dwell in Ar, did unto me;) until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which the LORD our God giveth us.  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.  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.  And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain:  Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took.  From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the LORD our God delivered all unto us:  Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the LORD our God forbad us.  Deut 2:24-37 (KJV) 

Moses said “I will pass through on my feet; until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which the LORD our God giveth us.”  An interesting claim for one whom God has told that he would not enter that land.  Can we be too sure of our salvation and righteousness even when we are over the line of error?  Moses continues his history. 

Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.  And the LORD said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.  So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining.  And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.  All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.  And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city.  But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to ourselves.  And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon unto mount Hermon;  (Which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir;)  All the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.  For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.    Deut 3:1-11 (KJV) 

Today we consider it immoral to kill the women and children, but this was God’s command.  Their evil was judged by the only righteous judge, and they were found guilty.  Israel was hearing God, and obeying him.  This causes problems for leaders who try to follow God today.  History may have a different view of the Bush administration after the purpose of God is known.  It’s easy to be judgmental when you don’t have all the facts.  This is especially true if you depend on new age “politically correct” ideals to judge by.  You will be disappointed when God corrects our “correctness”. 

And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites.  And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.  Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi; and called them after his own name, Bashanhavothjair, unto this day.  And I gave Gilead unto Machir.  And unto the Reubenites and unto the Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon half the valley, and the border even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon;  The plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth even unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, under Ashdothpisgah eastward.  And I commanded you at that time, saying, The LORD your God hath given you this land to possess it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all that are meet for the war.  But your wives, and your little ones, and your cattle, (for I know that ye have much cattle,) shall abide in your cities which I have given you;  Until the LORD have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the LORD your God hath given them beyond Jordan: and then shall ye return every man unto his possession, which I have given you.  And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest.  Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you.  Deut 3:12-22 (KJV) 

Fear is not faith; it is the spiritual enemy of faith.  Fear of the Lord is wisdom, but fear of man or demon is not our way.  We need to know God’s will, and follow that without yielding to dogma, the inventions of man.  Israel had a demonstration of God’s deliverance, and no excuse for weakening now. 

And I besought the LORD at that time, saying,  O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?  I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.  But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.  Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan.  But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.  So we abode in the valley over against Bethpeor.  Deut 3:23-29 (KJV) 

Moses was encouraged by God’s power in battle.  But he is also reminded that his rebellion had cost him his chance to cross into the Promised Land.  He could only view it from the mountaintop.  This is a good time for Israel to remember where they have been, and what they have been made accountable for.  They will face death knowing that their obedience to God is their only hope. 

I have come out of a great struggle in my life, and now see a new home and new opportunities.  I hope to review my mistakes and seek help to overcome in this new home.  I hope to provide service to God here, and I need to know my path before I set out.  I want to see my vision, and to enter into God’s rest.  Will we find that Moses was buried in the Promised Land after all?  Only God knows now.

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