Summary: We accomplish God's will by God's strength. We receive God's favour by God's grace.
1 Hear, O Israel. You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. 2 The people are strong and tall - Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: "Who can stand up against the Anakites?"
Before Israel can possess the land they need to dispossess the occupiers.
• They have to fight against strong foes and overcome them, yet this is God’s plan.
• There are obstacles and difficulties, yet this is God’s will for them.
“God’s plan” does not mean things will be easy.
• God’s promise is real and true, but the fulfilment of that promise will take courage and lots of hard work.
• The nations are greater and stronger than Israel (9:1). Their enemies are strong and tall (9:2), Moses says.
This is really not a typical motivational speech, from a coach to his players, just before a big game.
• In fact, to rub it in, Moses adds, “You know about them and have heard it said: ‘Who can stand up against the Anakites?’” (9:2)
• The odds are against them. The Anakites have a reputation in the region – they are the unbeatable.
• Moses practically quoted the words of the spies some 40 years ago (Num 13). They saw the same problem then and said the same thing.
Moses lays all the cards out before them, and he is doing it with confidence. He did not sugar-coat his words. It’s the reality, let’s face it.
• The task is impossible; indeed, humanly impossible. Moses wants them to know.
• BUT God has said, and so this is what we will do.
• Without God, the situation is hopeless. But God is with us in this!
Moses continues… Deut 9:3
BUT be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.
The odds are all against them but Israel had this - GOD. God on their side, and that’s enough. The unseen power is greater than the seen.
• Whatever trouble you are facing today, problems that come from the harsh situation or from difficult people, remember this: The unseen power of God’s presence is always greater than all that you see.
• God is going ahead of Israel to fight for them. If God is for us, who can be against us?
• With God’s help, every arrow will finds its Achilles’ heels. It is “not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty (Zech 4:6).
WE ACCOMPLISH GOD’S WILL BY GOD’S STRENGTH
Israel, unskilled in war and with little experience, eventually overcome all their enemies. They did the impossible because God fought for them.
Today, we are called to fight this spiritual battle and accomplish God’s will.
• Eph 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
• We are called to put on the armour of God and fight. Paul tells Timothy to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:12).
The evil one will do whatever he can to stop us from fulfilling God’s will. We can expect problems and obstacles.
• We are not going to pretend that they are not there. We are going to recognise them squarely and confront them head on, just as Moses did.
• We have the ASSURANCE that if it is God’s will, then He will go before us and help us.
The picture is beautiful. Read 9:3 again. God will go across “ahead of you like a devouring fire. HE will destroy them; HE will subdue them before you. And YOU will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.”
• God will destroy and subdue, YOU will drive them out. It’s a partnership!
• It’s not all of God and nothing from us. And it is not all of us, and nothing of God.
• Victory comes when we partner God in doing what He has called us to do.
4 After the LORD your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, "The LORD has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness." No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the LORD your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.