What it Means to Have God on Your Side

There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that sovereignty overrules them, and that sovereignty will s … More

Sovereignty

Although Edom, Ammon and Moab had harassed Israel God would not give Israel their land (vv. 16-19-23). Instead they were instructed to bypass their nations and let God take care of them. However, the situation changed with Sihon and the Amorites (vv. 24-25). The Amorites under King Sihon’s leadership had driven out the Moabites from this section of land and had taken over. Moses sent messengers to Sihon with words of peace (v. 26) but Sihon rejected the proposal and was hostile toward Israel (vv. 30-36). God then told Israel to completely destroy Sihon and his people.

By worldly standards, Israel’s army was not very powerful but Israel had God on their side. He told Moses that he would make the enemy nations afraid of Israel (v. 25). This meant that Moses no longer had to worry about his enemies because his enemies were worried about him. In fact by the time Joshua was ready to enter the land, the news of Israel’s invincible march had already gone before them (Josh 2:8-11).

God’s decision to protect Edon, Ammon and Moab and His command to destroy Sihon is an illustration of His sovereignty over all nations. It was a reminder to Israel of what God had done for them and became a source of encouragement to them. The Lord does this for many of us today. He permits us to have a difficult experience to prepare us for life or to prepare us to be helpful to others.

Application

God often goes before me in my daily battles, preparing the way and overcoming barriers. I need to keep in mind that God has a sovereign plan for my life and it is wise for me to follow Him where He wants me to go. When He says for me to go I need to move and when He says stop I need to stop.

Deuteronomy 2:16-37 (English Standard Version)

"So as soon as all the men of war had perished and were dead from among the people, the LORD said to me, 'Today you are to cross the border of Moab at Ar. And when you approach the territory of the people of Ammon, do not harass them or contend with them, for I will not give you any of the land of the people of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot for a possession.' (It is also counted as a land of Rephaim. Rephaim formerly lived there--but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim-- a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim; but the LORD destroyed them before the Ammonites, and they dispossessed them and settled in their place, as he did for the people of Esau, who live in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites before them and they dispossessed them and settled in their place even to this day. As for the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim, who came from Caphtor, destroyed them and settled in their place.) 'Rise up, set out on your journey and go over the Valley of the Arnon. Behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to take possession, and contend with him in battle. This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you on the peoples who are under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.' "So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon the king of Heshbon, with words of peace, saying, 'Let me pass through your land. I will go only by the road; I will turn aside neither to the right nor to the left. You shall sell me food for money, that I may eat, and give me water for money, that I may drink. Only let me pass through on foot, as the sons of Esau who live in Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I go over the Jordan into the land that the LORD our God is giving to us.' But Sihon the king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him, for the LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, that he might give him into your hand, as he is this day. And the LORD said to me, 'Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to take possession, that you may occupy his land.' Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz. And the LORD our God gave him over to us, and we defeated him and his sons and all his people. And we captured all his cities at that time and devoted to destruction every city, men, women, and children. We left no survivors. Only the livestock we took as spoil for ourselves, with the plunder of the cities that we captured. From Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, and from the city that is in the valley, as far as Gilead, there was not a city too high for us. The LORD our God gave all into our hands. Only to the land of the sons of Ammon you did not draw near, that is, to all the banks of the river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, whatever the LORD our God had forbidden us."

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