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Thursday January 24 – Many nations He struck down

…and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel. – Psalm 135:12

Scripture reading: Numbers 21:21-35

The defeat of Sihon and Og is mentioned in Psalm 135 and 136. In both, it is in the context of the LORD showing His power and steadfast love. The LORD is leading His people to the Promised Land. The enemy of the LORD will do everything to try to stop this. He tries it in the first instance with intimidation. Israel is facing powerful enemies. The first one is the powerful nation of the Amorites under the kingship of Sihon. Israel asks to pass peacefully through their territory, but the king refuses and instead comes out with his army. The LORD gives the victory. The second opponent was Og, King of Bashan. He comes out with his powerful army. The LORD also gives him into the hand of Israel. Deuteronomy 3:4 says that 60 cities now are in Israel’s possession. Israel already controls the land east of the Jordan.

The people faced these battles before entering the land. The LORD shows that their strength lies in trusting in Him. It is not Israel’s might, but the power of the LORD. What an encouragement before entering the land! For us too. The enemy may seem powerful, but he cannot stop the progress of God’s Kingdom. He tries to intimidate the church with power. “Our fighting would be losing, were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.” This Man is Christ Jesus, He must win the battle. “Your exalted name, O LORD, will stand firm for evermore.”

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the LORD for giving us the right Man on our side. Pray for strength in the battle against the powers that intimidate the church. Pray for the believers who face persecution.

 This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Douwe G. J. Agema is currently minister of Living Word Canadian Reformed Church in Guelph and also teaches several courses at Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers’ College.

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