Meditations on “Fear Not”: 9. Victory Assured
Num 21:33-35 And they turned and went up by the way to Bashan. So Og king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have delivered him into your hand, with all his people and his land; and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon.” So they defeated him, his sons, and all his people, until there was no survivor left him; and they took possession of his land.”
It is perhaps so obvious that it hardly needs saying, but every time the Lord says, “Fear not” or “Don’t be afraid,” He gives a reason. The above verses occur when Israel is moving northwards, up the east side of the Dead Sea, to prepare to cross the Jordan and enter the land near Jericho, but to do that they had to pass through or near the lands of various other rulers. Some of them they were told not to touch, for example in respect of the Ammonites, they were told not to attack them (see Deut 2:19), but others, possibly ones the Lord wanted chastised, as in the case above of Og, king of Bashan, they are told to defeat. Some of those were ones openly hostile to God and His people.
For example, they had already defeated Sihon, king of the Amorites who had rejected their friendly overtures and attacked them (Num 21:21-24, also Deut 2:26-36), and so the Lord reminded them of this when they are confronted by the large army with Og. Studying the travels up the east side of the Dead Sea by Israel, we observe different approaches: enemies who just attack them, people they are told to leave alone, and people they are told they will triumph over because the Lord is with them.
The overall lesson of this is that there is no ABC of spiritual warfare. We do what God tells us to do, and no more, for every situation and every enemy is different. When we are attacked spiritually, we need to seek His will to know how He wants us to respond. Sometimes it will be to remain silent and sometimes it will be to speak words of wisdom and grace. When we are confronted with enemies (and everything that is sin-based, ungodly and unrighteous is an enemy of Jesus to eventually be subdued and overcome – see 1 Cor 15:24,25 – and they are all around us) our intent should not be to randomly lash out at every wrong thing we see, but to seek the Lord to know what He wants us to do about the things He puts on our hearts as matters on His agenda to be dealt with.
Where He does place before us enemies that He wants to overcome, it is not with the weapons of the ways of the world – political maneuvering, slander, malice etc., – but the ways of righteousness, truth, the word of God, and prayer (see 2 Cor 10:4,5) and wisdom and grace (see Col 4:5,6) and faith. These are His provisions for us and we can feel completely secure in the knowledge that He has given us everything we will need. Note and memorize 2 Cor 9:8, Phil 4:19, 2 Cor 12:9, Phil 4:13.
But the big lesson, in the midst of this, is that when we move at the Lord’s bidding we need have no fear of that enemy. Yes we are to be “as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove,” (Mt 10:16 Message version) constantly exercising and expressing the grace of Jesus, but we are not to be fearful, remembering that “the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power,” (1 Cor 4:20) His power. So when He says, “Fear not,” we can rest secure in that! Hallelujah! His will means our security. Hallelujah!