September 11, 2019

Hey, God, What's Your ETA? 

Deuteronomy 20

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Laws Concerning Warfare

“When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’ Then the officers shall speak to the people, saying, ‘Is there any man who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it. And is there any man who has planted a vineyard and has not enjoyed its fruit? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man enjoy its fruit. And is there any man who has betrothed a wife and has not taken her? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man take her.’ And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ‘Is there any man who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house, lest he make the heart of his fellows melt like his own.’ And when the officers have finished speaking to the people, then commanders shall be appointed at the head of the people.

10 “When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. 11 And if it responds to you peaceably and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you. 12 But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. 13 And when the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword, 14 but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourselves. And you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you. 15 Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here. 16 But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, 17 but you shall devote them to complete destruction,1 the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the LORD your God has commanded, 18 that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the LORD your God.

19 “When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them. You may eat from them, but you shall not cut them down. Are the trees in the field human, that they should be besieged by you? 20 Only the trees that you know are not trees for food you may destroy and cut down, that you may build siegeworks against the city that makes war with you, until it falls.

Footnotes

[1] 20:17 That is, set apart (devote) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction)

Hey, God, What's Your ETA? 



Key Verse | Deuteronomy 20:2-4

"And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, 'Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.'"

Bio | Hailey Wakefield

Hi, everyone! I'm Hailey Wakefield, and God used Watermark—its ministries and people—as a tool to completely transform my life! I can now experience joy and peace no matter my circumstances, thanks to God's love and grace! Things that bring me extra joy include:

• sticky notes;
• the beach;
• reading;
• making my amazing husband, Evan, laugh;
• my job as a speech-language pathologist;
• Christmas aisles at Hobby Lobby;
• serving as a Watermark community group coach;
• making lists.

Central Truth

We do not have to live in fear or doubt no matter how overwhelming our circumstances may be. God is always with us! His presence and His promises give us peace and confidence.

Devotional | Deuteronomy 20

I love this chapter in Deuteronomy because it reminds me that even when I feel blinded by darkness or fear, I can trust God and His faithfulness. Moses acknowledged the Israelites might have been overwhelmed or...

I love this chapter in Deuteronomy because it reminds me that even when I feel blinded by darkness or fear, I can trust God and His faithfulness. Moses acknowledged the Israelites might have been overwhelmed or paralyzed by fear while approaching the Promised Land. Although the Israelites were familiar with war, Moses encouraged the people before entering the battle.

Just like the Israelites, we come face-to-face with the opposition. Our battles may not involve horses and chariots today, but war with the enemy and trials are guaranteed (1 Peter 5:8; John 16:33). Similar to the kings who didn't want God's people in the Promised Land, we face an enemy, Satan, who wants to keep us from experiencing the grace and love of Christ. I don't know what you are facing today, but let God's truth encourage and uplift you: "[F]or the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory." (Deuteronomy 20:4).

Nowhere in this chapter do we find a single word about defeat. Failure isn't possible because the battle has already been won. Moses spoke these words to the Israelites, but they have meaning for you and me, too! Our Deliverer is fully present and working to make everything good for His glory (Romans 8:28). Whatever battle you are facing, He is with you, and His victory will be the result. The size, strength, and power of our enemies matter little when God is with us.

But how can we remind our wandering minds and hearts in the midst of a battle? How do we stop feeling beat up by discouragement and fear during trials? The same way the Israelites remained in God's presence—by responding to God's faithfulness and grace through seeking Him and obeying His Word.

I pray that you will join in fully following God through every step of your battles, that you will be eager to serve Him in every trial, and that you will confront any situation with confidence while asking God, "How would You have me glorify You in this?"

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Discussion Questions

1. What might be lacking in your intimacy with God? Is He real to you—a daily presence in your life? Where is He in your thoughts when fear comes? Find Scriptures you can memorize to redirect your thoughts to Him.

2. What are three ways God has demonstrated His faithfulness to you? How can you recall His faithfulness when fear or a trial arises?

3. What have you been trusting in more than God's promises? What is your heart's motivation when making decisions? In what ways can you experience more of God's presence in your daily life?

11 Comments available

Jay Caruso 2 months ago

Thank you Hailey!! “F]or the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory." The devo was great and has given me new things to share with my 17 year old who has sadness about a friend/ex boyfriend and this will encourage her as well as romans 8:28

Ella Dvorak 2 months ago

I like verse one because it shows us not to be afraid when we are facing things that might be bigger than us, or the armies, because God is with us, and even if we lose the battle, or struggle, God will still be with us. We don’t need to be afraid of things that are bigger than us, because he is with us.

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots, and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.

Deuteronomy 20:1

Sally Lee 2 months ago

Hailey, thank you for clearing the fog that’s lately been clouding my brain as I have impatiently - untrustingly! - been in the midst of trouble: “Whatever battle you are facing, He is with you, and His victory will be the result. The size, strength, and power of our enemies matter little when God is with us.”

John Hill 2 months ago

Thank you Hailey for this devotional. It was EXACTLY what I needed this a.m. The scripture (Deuteronomy 20) and your devotional really SPOKE to me today. Thank you Lord! Hailey and YOUR WORD reminds me… only YOU hold the answer to the challenges we face in life!

Michael Scaman 2 months ago

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” Jesus in Matthew

Deut 20:7 Seek peace first before going to war. “When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it.”

Psalm 120:7 “I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.”

Michael Scaman 2 months ago

John Piper says that God never calls his people to a fair fight.

“… “When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, …”

That magnifies God in the sense of seeing him as he is and puts things in perspective.

Hope Harris 2 months ago

GM

Reflecting on the first four verses today. “The Eternal, your True God, has come out here with you, and He’ll fight for you against your enemies and save you.” (VS 4 The Voice) What a reassurance this verse gives

Sue Bohlin 2 months ago

Thanks Hailey!

I was interested to learn today how God made a distinction between the “Ites” (Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and the Jebusites) in the Promised Land, and the distant, “non-Ite” people the Israelites would conquer. The Ites needed to be wiped out because they were so degenerate and unredeemably soaked in idolatry that they were a huge threat to the Israelites’ relationship with Yahweh. The distant people weren’t like a spiritual cancer, and God didn’t call for their deaths.

Recently I posted a question in The NEST Facebook page, asking moms for their children’s God questions. One 13-year-old’s question was, “Why did God command the Israelites to kill women and children, too? Why do innocent wives and kids have to pay for the sins of men?”

From our limited human perspective, we can’t see there is no such thing as true “innocence,” whether pagans or cancer cells.

Lindsey Driscoll 2 months ago

The battle scene for Israel, it was a reoccurring thing as they moved into the Promised Land, the had to completely destroy or they would be led to sin. (20:16-18). Dr. Constable notes “God’s people today, as well, should conduct their spiritual warfare confident in God’s presence, power, and ultimate victory.” I’m reminded of a song that accurately describes the battles we can face. I am thankful today that we fight with the Lord, just as Israel did. (20:1-4)

“The battle rages on deep down within me My flesh pulls one way Your will pulls the other This battle must be won And it’s mine to fight You know I long to be victorious“

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hlDOjY_hv9w

Hugh Stephenson 2 months ago

Years ago I heard about life at Watermark being a battleship, not a cruise ship. I use to hate hassles, trouble and trials.

Jesus promises me trouble, (John 16:33).

James says rejoice in trials, (James 1:2-4).

Paul cites glory, perseverance, character and hope, (Romans 5:3-5).

Isaiah says I need them like bread and water, ( Isaiah 30:20-21).

I pray like Elisha that my eyes be opened, (2 Kings 6:8-22).

Father, I pray that when the armies of Satan oppose me that you open my eyes so that I can see the hills, the horses and the chariots.

Matt Maher reminds me that even though “the battle rages on that the war is already won." https://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=1FMCBMNU

Hugh Stephenson 2 months ago

2 Timothy 3:16 - God guarantees victory. All I bring to the battle is sin and resistance. He demands full and complete loyalty. Partial obedience is disobedience.

He also demands purity. I am not to mix in any cultural influences that draw my heart away from Him. They are to be extinguished. 100%. Nothing left.

In re:gen we talk about changing your playgrounds, playmates and playlist. Each of these was hard for me. Lots of memories left behind. And dumpster fires.

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