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June 8 – A failure in holy war

The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place. – Deut. 1:30-31

Scripture reading: Deut. 1:19-46

Israel rejected the call of God to wage holy war, despite Moses’ assurance that God would be with her. She rejected the Word of the Lord Who was with her in fire by night and cloud by day. God was with her, showing Himself in a visible form, teaching her to trust in Him and she rejected Him utterly. That raises the question, do you believe the promises of God? God has commanded us to baptize and disciple the nations. He promised that all nations will be blessed through the seed of Abraham, which is Christ. And God has promised to be with you by His Holy Spirit so that you are enabled in working out God’s mission. Do you believe His promises?

Sometimes we focus on the weakness of mankind and despair of the work of God in the mission of the church. Yes, we should be aware of our weakness. If we do not completely humble ourselves before God, we will fail. But that is not the primary message of the Old Testament. The message is that God is powerful to accomplish what He promises. We don’t want to hear this and respond with the same attitude the Israelites had, “Has God brought the church to North America to die?” The church has died in certain areas before, but not because God brought it there to die. It died because the people were afraid, afraid of the giants, afraid of various arguments, afraid of sacrifice, afraid of confessing God’s truth. We are called to fear God, not man.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the love of God may overcome the improper fear that is in your life.

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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