Moses continued to speak to Israel about their journeys in the wilderness, as well as their victory east of the Jordan over King Sihon and his people.
“Watch yourselves carefully” (2:1) – That is what Jehovah had told Israel when they prepared to deal with the Edomites. There is always a need for God’s people to take heed to their choices – these are serious matters which require our best effort. We cannot make other people’s decisions for them, but we certainly are responsible for watching our own selves diligently.
Miraculous and non-miraculous provisions – We know that for forty years God gave manna to Israel in a miraculous fashion. Yet, the Almighty did not always apply all of His might. As Israel approached Edom, God told them, “You shall buy food from them with money, that you may eat” (2:6). So, even when God was doing wonders, He sometimes supplied Israel’s needs in a non-miraculous fashion.
Lacked nothing – Moses’ reminder to Israel was, “These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing” (2:7). They may not have had everything which their heart craved, but they had everything that they needed. Our gracious Father continues to provide for all of the material and spiritual needs of His people (Philippians 4:19).
No favoritism with God – Just as God said that He would destroy Israel’s enemies, so He destroyed from among the Israelites all the generation of the men of war who rebelled against Him (2:14,15). Yes, God’s people receive unique blessings from His hand, but it also is true that His wrath comes on the sons of disobedience, regardless of whether or not they are counted as His children (Colossians 3:6).
None too strong – As Moses and the Israelites reflected on their battles with the people who lived east of the Jordan, they recalled: “there was not one city too strong for us; the LORD our God delivered all to us” (2:36). How many kings, nations, or cities could stand against and overcome Israel? Not one! Israel’s victories could be explained easily: the Lord God fought on their behalf, and when that happened, their adversaries did not have a chance! What is that oft-quoted passage? “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). We serve a victorious Savior who has overcome the world (John 16:33). And, the great news for us is that our God “always leads us in triumph in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14). Yes, Satan has his forces working for him, but if we will trust in our Lord, no one will be too strong for us!
God willing, next month we will continue our look at some takeaways from each chapter in Deuteronomy.
— Roger D. Campbell