As we start this new book, here is a head’s up that we’ll be going back to our normal six chapters per week rhythm as we read through Deuteronomy. Sundays will go back to being a rest (or catch-up) day. For an overview (or refresher) on Deuteronomy, click here.
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Read Deuteronomy 3
Defeat of Og King of Bashan
3 Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei.2 The Lord said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”
3 So the Lord our God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We struck them down, leaving no survivors. 4 At that time we took all his cities. There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og’s kingdom in Bashan. 5 All these cities were fortified with high walls and with gates and bars, and there were also a great many unwalled villages. 6 We completely destroyed them, as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, destroying every city—men, women and children. 7 But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves.
8 So at that time we took from these two kings of the Amorites the territory east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge as far as Mount Hermon.9 (Hermon is called Sirion by the Sidonians; the Amorites call it Senir.) 10 We took all the towns on the plateau, and all Gilead, and all Bashan as far as Salekah and Edrei, towns of Og’s kingdom in Bashan. 11 (Og king of Bashan was the last of the Rephaites. His bed was decorated with iron and was more than nine cubits long and four cubits wide. It is still in Rabbah of the Ammonites.)
Division of the Land
12 Of the land that we took over at that time, I gave the Reubenites and the Gadites the territory north of Aroer by the Arnon Gorge, including half the hill country of Gilead, together with its towns. 13 The rest of Gilead and also all of Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (The whole region of Argob in Bashan used to be known as a land of the Rephaites. 14 Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, took the whole region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maakathites; it was named after him, so that to this day Bashan is called Havvoth Jair.) 15 And I gave Gilead to Makir. 16 But to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory extending from Gilead down to the Arnon Gorge (the middle of the gorge being the border) and out to the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites. 17 Its western border was the Jordan in the Arabah, from Kinnereth to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea), below the slopes of Pisgah.
18 I commanded you at that time: “The Lord your God has given you this land to take possession of it. But all your able-bodied men, armed for battle, must cross over ahead of the other Israelites. 19 However, your wives, your children and your livestock (I know you have much livestock) may stay in the towns I have given you, 20 until the Lord gives rest to your fellow Israelites as he has to you, and they too have taken over the land that the Lord your God is giving them across the Jordan. After that, each of you may go back to the possession I have given you.”
Moses Forbidden to Cross the Jordan
21 At that time I commanded Joshua: “You have seen with your own eyes all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings. The Lord will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going. 22 Do not be afraidof them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”
23 At that time I pleaded with the Lord: 24 “Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what godis there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? 25 Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that fine hill country and Lebanon.”
26 But because of you the Lord was angry with me and would not listen to me. “That is enough,” the Lord said. “Do not speak to me anymore about this matter. 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan. 28 But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.” 29 So we stayed in the valley near Beth Peor.
The third chapter of Deuteronomy is a continuation of the previous two chapters as Moses remembers all that Israel has been through. Right in the middle of this remembrance of the march on to Canaan and the appointment of Joshua, Moses makes a bold proclamation of his faith. Deuteronomy 3:22 says, “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”
Fear is a battle for many of us. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of sickness. Fear of rejection. Fear of change. The list could go on and on. Just as Moses reminded Joshua that he did not need to be afraid of the challenges set before him, God divinely preserved this scripture to remind us that we don’t have to be afraid.
God doesn’t just command us to not be afraid, though. He gives us an explanation as to why we don’t need to be afraid. We don’t have to waste the time, energy, and emotional/physical strength battling all the fears that plague us because the Lord is already fighting those battles on our behalf! The million dollar question of “How do you fight fear?” is succinctly answered here: By trusting in the God who fights for you.
In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses models for us that an important step in trusting God is to remember what God has done for you. We just read a few chapters ago in Deuteronomy 1:30-31 “The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” Moses desired for the Israelites and Joshua to remember that they had faced some very real and challenging fears, but not only had the Lord carried them through, but He had gone before them and led them to where they were now, on the verge of finally entering the Promised Land.
Psalm 139:5 says “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” God goes before us and comes behind us. Our finite minds have difficulty understanding his omnipresence, but scripture reminds us time and time again that it’s true. When the fear starts to bubble up and cloud our view of the Promised Land, we can boldly state “Do not be afraid, because the Lord your God fights for you” and then we confidently trust that he is.
- What fears do you battle on a consistent basis?
- Do you have difficulty trusting God with those fears?
- Spend some time remembering how God has fought for you in the past. What steps can you take to trust God with your fears in the future?
Listen to the song “You’ve Already Won” from Shane & Shane and pay close attention to the following lyrics:
“I don’t know what you’re doing
But I know what you’ve done
I’m fighting a battle that You’ve already won”
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5 thoughts on “Deuteronomy 3”
In Proverbs we’ve been reminded that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (having the facts) and wisdom (applying those facts to life). We must live out what we know. Today we read again of fear, but this time it is directed towards fear of man. V3 states “Do not be afraid of him, for I have given you victory over Og and his army, giving you his entire land.” Nations still had to be conquered, work must still be done to settle in the promised land. To me, if I fear God, I need not fear anything else. Fear of God drives a deep sense of awe and reverence that causes me to surrender all my moments to his sovereignty. Gotquestions.org describes it this way: The fear of God is respecting him, obeying him, submitting to his discipline, and worshipping him in awe. Today, fear will surely come knocking at our door. Let’s not give in or embrace it, but choose to focus on the God who promises to fight for us as we obey him.
We are in a constant battle. The battle is won. We can walk in this world with our heads held high and full of joy or despondent and full of fear. We always have freedom of choice. BUT GOD has made our way straight with 10-15 day out or 40 year zig zag due to our obedience. 2 Tim 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. We have Holy Spirit as a believer, we need to listen and obey. Read our Bible and be the men and women God has called us to be for such a time as this. Love people and show them who you are by your character, fruit of the spirit.
God thank You for listening ears and open eyes to see people through Your love goggles. Thank You for power, love and a sound mind with self control. Thank You for not having fear but knowing without a doubt You have gone before and are behind me as we battle through life together in Jesus name amen.
Reading this last book that Moses wrote, is like flipping to the last chapter of a novel. I’ve had to go back and read in Exodus and Numbers to refresh myself on some of the background events. Today, I really paid more attention to the conversation between Moses and God in the last 9 verses. Not only is Moses giving us great advice to not be afraid, but Moses is also giving us a prime example of what an intimate relationship with God consists of. This isn’t the first time Moses has asked God to change his mind. And we know from other scriptures, God does change his mind. (See Jonah for example) But here, we read God didn’t change his mind, but was compassionate enough to give Moses a view that no one else got overlooking the Promised Land.
So sometimes God’s no, isn’t quite a no…we just have to look with our eyes a little differently to see how He answers us. I think there is always a blessing in a “no” even from God if we are willing to see it.