“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”
Imagine being on a team that has lost most of its games. Time after time, no matter who your opponent was, you figured out a way to lose. Now, imagine your team is about to face the best team in the league. How confident do you think you would be as the coach begins his pep talk in the locker room?
Israel’s 40 year journey through the wilderness has been marked with loss after devastating loss. From the very beginning they lived with fear, failure and defeat. They complained at the lack of resources, lusted for the fantasy life of Egypt, committed heinous sins with the golden calf and the women of Moab, lived in unbelief, refusing to enter the land of Promise, then watched as a generation died in the wilderness. Now, after what might be viewed as “pre-season games,” they are on the verge of entering the land where they will face “nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven.”
Based on their past, their future looks bleak. Moses exhorts them not to look at themselves and their failure, but at the Lord, and the work He desires to accomplish in and through them. He declares,
“It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
The righteousness of Israel was not the driving force behind their victories. Instead, they were to be ever mindful of the faithfulness of God. Much of what we struggle with is too great for our personal weakness. Praise the Lord, He will fight for us. He will drive out what is too great and mighty for us to defeat in our own strength.
Take time today to cling to the promises of God and walk with the confidence that it is He who will bring you to victory.