1 “Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, great cities fortified to heaven, 2 a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’ 3 Know therefore today that it is the LORD your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the LORD has spoken to you.” – Dt 9
It’s natural before going into any battle to do assessments on the nature of the fight. How difficult? What assets will be required? Are the obstacles able to be overcome or are they insurmountable? Fleshly and spiritual people do this. God’s people know they have an edge in the fight.
Yahweh knew His people like Joshua and Caleb would be doing this kind of battle assessment. He knew that the Israelites would have thoughts of the Anakim, the giants, and that there would be some who doubt a positive outcome for Israel.
Before the regiment or battalion of soldiers enter a battle to engage the enemy, military jets with their bombs have softened the enemy by taking out key installations and valuable assets. The enemy is weaker before the hand to hand combat begins. In our text above, Moses rallied and gave courage to the people by reminding them that God will be first in the battle. God has gone BEFORE them to destroy and subdue the enemies. Before the swords, armor, adrenaline and testosterone have met the enemy, God was already there, softening the enemy. Do you think about that when you have battles to fight in this godless world?
Remember that later when Joshua sends the two spies into Jericho that Rahab the harlot says to them:
“For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 “When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” – Josh 2:10-11
The people of Jericho with their fortified walls and all of their might were already softened by the works of God. This is not just rumor or weakness of character in the people; this is evidence that God is at work. We cannot even begin to measure all of the ways that the powerful God, the Almighty, works in this world to aid the people who love Him and who are called according to His purpose, Rom. 8:26-28. Do you think prayer accomplishes nothing! God hears the prayers of the righteous and He surely answers them.
So when you have a battle to fight. When fleshly men say that obstacles are insurmountable, do not forget that you have someone who fights for you because He goes BEFORE you to bring victory. Faith, John said, is the victory that overcomes the world. Believe it and live it.