“When approaching the battle against your enemies today”
“ and shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye draw nigh this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint; fear not, nor tremble, neither be ye affrighted at them;” (De 20:3 ASV)
Like God said in the ancient times that His people should not have to waver in resolve, we in this time of unrest should not fear, if when it may not be so easy for some people who live here in our regions.
These days we find Jews and Jeshuaists being targetted when they appear publicly wearing their religious symbols. Lots of Jews have left Belgium, the Netherlands and France to join their brethren and sisters in Israel.
We brethren in Christ try not to be afraid to call others to come to know Jesus and his God. We should not be afraid to continue the task Jesus had given to his followers. Confidence and courage provide the secret of success in fighting Jehovah’s battles. We can not ignore that the last few years many individuals as well as groups tried to go against those who love the Divine Creator. In our regions we even see that the Name “Jehovah” works as a red cloth on a bull.
In ancient times priests were to accompany the army in war, and exhort the warriors to fearlessness and faith in the fight. They were to remind them that they go forth in the strength of the Most High Elohim, and that success would attend their arms if they did that which is right. Today there is no difference. When people do what is right they should not fear man, because our God is much stronger than they.
There is need for courage in war, also when it is a spiritual war. Scripture warns us that there shall come a time of great tribulation. Then everybody should be prepared. They should make sure that they are spiritually strong enough to withstand the great battle.
The Israelites could fortify themselves by recalling the wonderful victories of the past including that at the Red Sea. Egypt was noted for its horses and chariots, and its ability to wage war, but all perished in the waters of the sea. Jehovah had delivered His people against great odds, and can do so at any time. So Israel, about to enter upon a campaign of war, needed to recall the victories of the past, that were won through the intervention of the Elohim. (This exhortation is enforced by the following references: 2Ch 20:12 2Ch 20:15 2Ki 6:15-17 Ps 33:16-17 Ps 46:7 Ps 118:6 Ro 8:31.)
Israel’s history provides many examples of God intervening to save His people against great odds. And therefore exhortations to courage abound. See the words of encouragement offered to Joshua (De 31:6-8 Jos 1:5-9); Gideon; (Jud 6:12) Hezekiah; (2Ch 32:7-8) and compare with (Ps 46:7 Ps 46:11 Ps 118:6). As the Israelites lacked the military organisation and weaponry characteristic of the more martially developed nations, the help of God was vital.
When the army assembled for war, the silver trumpets were first sounded by the priests. This was to serve as a memorial to bring the soldiers into remembrance of Jehovah (Nu 10:8-9 Nu 31:6). The Israelite army fought by Jehovah the Host of hosts His directions (see Jud 20:27-28 1Sa 14:18 1Sa 30:7-8 2Ch 13:12), and victory depended on Him.
For the true believers today it should assure them that always the end victory shall belong to the Most High God. Man shall not be able to stop the fulfilment of God’s Plan. Jehovah made promises to the world; He gave His Word and shall keep His Word.
In our contemporary times it shall also be God Who shall lead the battle against His adversaries and against believers their ‘rivalries’
Many believers may be easily startled or quickly frightened, but the Word of God should give us courage. The elders or priests in present days should help their flock to be ready to face the big battle. The responsible persons of the ecclesia have a serious responsibility. They should make sure that all around the ecclesia shall come to know that Jehovah our God, is right there with us and that God shall stay with us, fighting with us against our enemies, fighting to win, and should take their task very seriously.
“ for Jehovah your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” (De 20:4 ASV)
— The statement, true as it was, demanded faith on the part of the Israelites, because they could not see Jehovah. Hence the importance of them remembering victories that had come through His intervention in the past.
We, too, need to remember when God has been for us and has helped us out of our problems. To fortify our faith, it is helpful to recall incidents in the past in which Jehovah has unexpectedly or remarkably helped His people. Examples of this are found in (1Sa 17:47), when David gained the victory over Goliath; (Isa 37:36), when Hezekiah succeeded against Sennacherib; (2Ch 20:22), when Jehoshaphat in a moment of anxiety gained a victory without the need of fighting; (2Ki 6:15-17), when the army ordered to capture Elisha was captured instead, and was brought blinded into the city of Dothan; (1Ch 14:15), when David was advised to change his strategy and to await “the sound of a going in the mulberry trees,” an indication that the invisible angels of heaven were active helping him.
All such incidents remind us that Jehovah, the God above all gods, has the power to grant victory, and we should act in faith accordingly. This is the substance of the exhortation delivered to the army before going into battle. For us this lesson and the many stories in the Old as well as in the New Testament should give us courage to go out in the world and to show the world that it is worthwhile to believe and to follow Jesus Christ as the Way to God.
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