Summary: I want believers to prepare to face their strongest enemies, trusting in God and encouraging others.
WHEN ENEMY IS STRONG
Text: Dt 20: 1-9
Purpose: I want believers to prepare to face their strongest enemies by relying on God and encouraging others.
It is easy to be safe and confident when we face enemies who are much weaker than us: "It's like taking candy from a child," "It's like pushing a drunk on a slope," etc.
But what should we do, when we come upon enemies stronger than we?
The people of Israel came out of Egypt under the mighty hand of God. The LORD destroyed the most powerful kingdom of the land, at that time, defeated his strong and well-armed army, opened the sea, overcame the Amalekites, and led them into the land of Canaan.
When they arrived there and sent spies, they were frightened by the testimony of the majority of them, who spoke of stronger enemies, cities with high walls and the certainty that they could not win. Then God took them back to the desert.
Now, the new generation is again heading for the promised land and Moses will give guidance on what to do in the war.
These guidelines will be very useful for the people of God these days, when we also face great enemies.
1. We must not fear the enemy, for God is with us and fights for us.
1.1. The enemy can have extraordinary advantages over us, but it has no advantage over our God.
1.2. The Israelites were not to put their trust in their resources or human capacity, but in God (Os 1: 7). "But of the house of Judah I will have compassion on them, and will save them by the LORD their God; for I will not save them by the bow, nor by the sword, nor by the war, nor by the horses, nor by the horsemen. "
1.3. We must remember the past victories, to cheer ourselves up in the struggles of the present. The God who did in the past (taken out of Egypt) is the same that fights for us today. God was greater than the gods of Egypt. God was greater than the magicians of Egypt. God was greater than the army of Egypt. God was greater than the waters. God was greater than the thirst of the wilderness. God was greater than the famine of the people. God was greater than the heat of the day and the cold of the night. God was greater than the wear of clothing and shoes. Who can overcome this God?
1.4. The secret to winning is to be on the side of the stronger, than always wins! Even in the most difficult circumstances, we must trust in the Lord (Isa. 41: 8-13). "But you, O Israel, my servant, your Jacob, whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my friend, whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called you from among his most excellent, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant, I have chosen thee, and I have not rejected thee; do not fear, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee, and I will help thee, and I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all that are angry with thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they will become nothing; and they that contend with thee shall perish. You will seek them, but you will not find them; and they that fight with thee shall become nothing, and as a thing that is nothing, they that war with thee. For I, the LORD your God, hold you by your right hand and say to you: fear not, for I will help you "(Isa. 41: 8-13).
2. We should encourage others with the certainty that it is God who guarantees us victory.
2.1. The priests (v.2) should bring to the people a word of hope and encouragement, reminding everyone that the presence of God is a guarantee of victory against their enemies.
2.2. Israel, in the past, was let down by the negative report of the spies. Now Moses gives them this command: Fear not, for it is God who goes with us to save us.
2.3. The believer must be a messenger of hope, of victory, of courage. Every day we meet people who pull us down, who want to make us feel discouraged. There are people you can not talk to, because it will ruin your day! There are many people discouraged by the things that happen in their daily lives, but we must carry a message of encouragement: God is with us and will give us victory.
2.4. Knowing that God is with us and who overcomes our wars has implications: When we obtain victory, we must give credit only to Him. It empowers us, gives us courage, gives us resources, does what we can not do and wins who we can not overcome . So the merit is his! It is easy (but dangerous and wrong) to win a war with God fighting for us and then to take credit for it! (Shoot with the gunpowder of others).