August 13, 2019

Be Not Afraid!

Deuteronomy 3

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The Defeat of King Og

“Then we turned and went up the way to Bashan. And Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have given him and all his people and his land into your hand. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.’ So the LORD our God gave into our hand Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people, and we struck him down until he had no survivor left. And we took all his cities at that time—there was not a city that we did not take from them—sixty cities, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides very many unwalled villages. And we devoted them to destruction,1 as we did to Sihon the king of Heshbon, devoting to destruction every city, men, women, and children. But all the livestock and the spoil of the cities we took as our plunder. So we took the land at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the Valley of the Arnon to Mount Hermon (the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, while the Amorites call it Senir), 10 all the cities of the tableland and all Gilead and all Bashan, as far as Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11 (For only Og the king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bed was a bed of iron. Is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits2 was its length, and four cubits its breadth, according to the common cubit.3)

12 “When we took possession of this land at that time, I gave to the Reubenites and the Gadites the territory beginning at Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, and half the hill country of Gilead with its cities. 13 The rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, that is, all the region of Argob, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (All that portion of Bashan is called the land of Rephaim. 14 Jair the Manassite took all the region of Argob, that is, Bashan, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called the villages after his own name, Havvoth-jair, as it is to this day.) 15 To Machir I gave Gilead, 16 and to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory from Gilead as far as the Valley of the Arnon, with the middle of the valley as a border, as far over as the river Jabbok, the border of the Ammonites; 17 the Arabah also, with the Jordan as the border, from Chinnereth as far as the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah on the east.

18 “And I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘The LORD your God has given you this land to possess. All your men of valor shall cross over armed before your brothers, the people of Israel. 19 Only your wives, your little ones, and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall remain in the cities that I have given you, 20 until the LORD gives rest to your brothers, as to you, and they also occupy the land that the LORD your God gives them beyond the Jordan. Then each of you may return to his possession which I have given you.’ 21 And I commanded Joshua at that time, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings. So will the LORD do to all the kingdoms into which you are crossing. 22 You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you.’

Moses Forbidden to Enter the Land

23 “And I pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying, 24 ‘O Lord GOD, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? 25 Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ 26 But the LORD was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me. And the LORD said to me, ‘Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again. 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes westward and northward and southward and eastward, and look at it with your eyes, for you shall not go over this Jordan. 28 But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall go over at the head of this people, and he shall put them in possession of the land that you shall see.’ 29 So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.


[1] 3:6 That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); twice in this verse
[2] 3:11 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
[3] 3:11 Hebrew cubit of a man

Be Not Afraid!

Key Verse | Deuteronomy 3:22

"You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you."

Bio | Jay Kreusch

I'm Caren's husband, Jay Kreusch. I'm father to Jack (13), Peter (9), MAK (7), and Gracie Ray (3). I support the use of the Oxford comma. When I'm not working at Mary Kay, I'm probably watching sports. When you have four kids, that tends to happen—a lot. I also serve on the Great Questions team on Monday nights. If you or a friend have questions about the Christian faith, bring them by! I also bet that some of you just googled "Oxford Comma."

Central Truth

The most commonly repeated phrase in the entire Bible is "Do not be afraid" or some similar variant of that command. That is probably because we should pay attention and, well, not be afraid.

Devotional | Deuteronomy 3

I'm the father of four kids, all 13 or under. Even if you don't have kids yourself, you can probably guess that I repeat myself a lot.

"Don't eat that!" "Eat your food!" "Why...

I'm the father of four kids, all 13 or under. Even if you don't have kids yourself, you can probably guess that I repeat myself a lot.

"Don't eat that!" "Eat your food!" "Why can't you just clean up after yourself?" "Flush the toilet!" "GO TO SLEEP!!!"

I tend to repeat myself on those things I think are important. I want my kids to do those things that I think will make their lives better. (Okay, I'll admit that sometimes I repeat things to make my life easier, but we will ignore that for now.)

God is the same way. When He really wants us to know something—so that our lives are better—He tends to repeat them through different authors, verses, chapters, and books of the Bible.

God's favorite phrase to repeat to us is "Be not afraid!" or some version of this command. In fact, this phrase is repeated dozens of times. Specifically, 105 times in the Old Testament and 35 times in the New Testament. That's a lot!

In Deuteronomy 3, we are reminded of this phrase twice—in verses 2 and 22. God is telling the Hebrews that as they enter and take the lands that He has promised, they should not be afraid. They are, of course. Battle is scary. Swords are scary. Evil is scary. 

I am faced with far easier challenges in life than physical battle, but I still fall back to fear pretty often. Yet God is continually reminding me to "Be not afraid!" I try to remember this when a difficult person is testing my patience or when things go badly at work or at home. Each time, if I'm leaning on Jesus, I am able to take a deep breath and take a risk—a risk to put aside my fear, be not afraid, and follow His plan. Each time I take that risk to be not afraid, I find it always works out for the best. That is the power of Jesus.

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Discussion Questions

1. What are you afraid of? Should you be?

2. What would it look like for you to take your most common fear and hand it over to Jesus?

3. Have you told your community group about your fears? Are you afraid to?

9 Comments available

Jay Caruso about 1 year ago

Thank Jay as I am Jay!! I did not look up the Oxford coma but than for your devo. Wonderful perspective again. I think with daily prayer and the word of out god makes it a lot easier to not be afraid and have calm in all circumstances. Stay faithful and obey!!!

Lynnette Morton about 1 year ago

Also Psalm 121.

Michael Scaman about 1 year ago

Gotta love the story about the giant bed.

Michael Scaman about 1 year ago

And Moses will view the land from Pisgah but not go in. The greatest law giver could not enter the land, whileJoshua and Caleb enters by faith.

Scott Jones about 1 year ago

When I am anxious or fearful, my go-to is Psalm 46.

Jennifer Kling about 1 year ago

First off, this editor has been a fan of the Oxford comma a long time. So, high five.

My fear often stems from our family living on one unpredictable income. Nevertheless, God faithfully provides. But on days like today – when my husband finishes one job and another one hasn’t been scheduled yet – I start falling back on fear once more. Praying for the Lord to take my fear and trust in Him.

Sue Bohlin about 1 year ago

Thanks, Jay–great devo today!

I love finding the details in scripture that are like signposts pointing to the supernatural origin of the text. I smiled at reading about King Og’s truly king-sized bed. It’s like God is saying, “The first generation was soooooo afraid of the giants in the land I promised you, right? They forgot that I’m way bigger than any earthly giants! Not to mention I’d fight the battles for you, you just need to show up!”

And I also smiled at reading what Moses said: “But the LORD was angry with me because of you . . .” He’s still pointing fingers at the people when remembering his sin of disobedience. If someone other than Moses had recorded this, they probably would have edited out this less-than-flattering aspect of the great leader!

Hugh Stephenson about 1 year ago

I love the line from “Ain’t No Grave” “Fear is a liar with a smooth and velvet tongue”.

In re:gen God showed me that my alcoholism and porn addiction was a coping mechanism for my fear and anxiety. In surrender, I am able to see how God fights for me. When He calls me to engage, He equips me, (Ephesians 6:10-17).

2 Timothy 3:16 - My fears and unhealthy coping mechanisms are like fortified cities with gates, walls, and bars. In surrender and obedience, they are no match for Him.

God gives me fearless generals to lead. I am to follow them faithfully. In leadership positions, I am to strengthen those under me, shepherd them, and encourage them.

He has given me the Promised Land of His abundance, (John 10:10). It is my provision and possession. I only need to surrender.

Hope Harris about 1 year ago

Fear has been a battle I come to recognize over the past couple of years. It has caused me to make unwise choices out of self protection.

Most importantly when I am afraid I don’t trust God. That’s the exact opposite of what the Psalmist wrote “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” Psalms 56:3 (NLT)

Lord teach my heart to trust

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