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Deuteronomy 2 (ESV)
1 “Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea, as the Lord told me. And for many days we traveled around Mount Seir. 2 Then the Lord said to me, 3 ‘You have been traveling around this mountain country long enough. Turn northward 4 and command the people, “You are about to pass through the territory of your brothers, the people of Esau, who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So be very careful. 5 Do not contend with them, for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as for the sole of the foot to tread on, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. 6 You shall purchase food from them with money, that you may eat, and you shall also buy water from them with money, that you may drink.
32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz. 33 And the Lord our God gave him over to us, and we defeated him and his sons and all his people. 34 And we captured all his cities at that time and devoted to destruction[b] every city, men, women, and children. We left no survivors. 35 Only the livestock we took as spoil for ourselves, with the plunder of the cities that we captured. 36 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. 37 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.
A surface reading of the Old Testament makes one think that God was for Israel and against all the other nations. We forgot that God chose Abraham so he could be a blessing to the nations (Gen 12:1-3). Although Esau and his descendants were not the conduit through which God would effect his work of redemption, Genesis is careful to inform readers that God cared and made provision for Esau (vv4-6, Gen 36), Ishmael (Gen 21:8-20), and their descendants.
However, against those that intended to destroy the Israelites, God gave the Israelites military success (v33). Victory comes from the Lord, not from the power of the people.
Today, God’s people do not engage in military conquests to advance the cause of the Church. However, the New Testament teaches us that we are in the midst of a severe conflict, a spiritual battle, and God still is in the business of giving his people the resources to withstand the onslaught (Eph 6:10-20).
Am I aware of the spiritual warfare I am in? Am I encountering any attack, temptation, confusion? How could I have victory? Ask God to help and give me power. Remember that God does not allow us to be tested beyond what we can bear (1 Cor. 10:13).