“But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop. Nevertheless, neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed from the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah.”
Israel’s history is marked with amazing victories and crippling defeats. A careful study of their victories will reveal that their strength was directly connected with their willingness to obey and follow God. The passage before us illustrates that vividly. After rejecting the plan of God and refusing to enter Canaan the people decided to try to attack the enemy on their own apart from the direction, guidance and assistance of God. The results were tragic. Israel was defeated and driven back. Their story serves as a helpful guide for each of us as we seek to follow and serve Christ.
One lesson we learn from this passage is that victory will be secured when we follow the Lord, not when we seek to have Him bless our battles. It is common in Christianity today to develop dreams, goals and strategies then to seek to find a way to have God bless them. We learn to do things like think positively or to use faith words or to never give up on our dream. Sadly, life teaches us that there are obstacles greater than we can overcome and we are often left defeated and scarred. Biblically speaking we are not supposed to develop dreams and ask God to bless them, instead we are to seek God for His direction and trust that He will enable us to do whatever He asks of us regardless of the opposition we face.
Had Israel obeyed God and entered Canaan when they were asked, no enemy could have defeated them or held them back from what God had for them. However, once they chose to walk there own path instead of following the Lord they would be met with constant challenges and defeats that were never part of the plan of God.
Be sure today that you are submitted to and walking after the ways of God.