Rise up, set out on your journey and go over the Valley of the Arnon. Behold I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to take possession, and contend with him in battle. – Deut. 2:24
Scripture reading: Deut. 2:26-3:11
Reformed scholastics makes a distinction between receiving salvation and taking hold of salvation. In the conquest of Palestine, we see something of what that means. The people of God are commanded to make war on the seven nations of the Canaanites. To encourage his people, Moses reminds them of two victories on the east side of the Jordan, against Sihon and Og. These battles are templates for what will happen in the Promised Land. The people of Israel have left Moab and crossed over into the territory of Sihon. Having warned them to refrain from attacking Ammon, God promises Israel that He will give them the land of Sihon. Verse 24 gives a number of commands, “Rise up! Set out! Go over! Behold! Look! Begin! Take Possession! Contend with him in battle!” God has already promised to give the land to Israel. He has ordained the outcome. Israel is called to take this gift through faith.
This is no less true in Christ. God says to us “Rise up and cast down the arguments of those principalities and powers that I have already placed under the feet of Christ.” In terms of our struggle with sin, Paul tells us that Christ has conquered the power of sin. According to Romans 6, we are freed from sin, so we are to “present our members to God as instruments for righteousness.” That means our hands, our feet, our heart, our eyes should be doing righteousness. We are to work out the salvation God has already won.
Suggestions for prayer
Praise God for the victory He has won. Acknowledge your complete inability to do any good apart from His life-giving Spirit. Plead for His strength as you seek to walk in the way of righteousness.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. James Zekveld is the pastor of the Ambassador Canadian Reformed Church In Niverville, MB.
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