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The Right Battle

Words of Faith Final

The Right Battle

Words of Faith 7-6-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 21:1-35

    When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them. [2] Then Israel made this vow to the Lord: "If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities." [3] The Lord listened to Israel's plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.


        This was a new day and a new generation.  For 40 years, the children of Israel had wandered in the desert wilderness awaiting this time.  The last battle they had fought resulted in a great defeat by the Amalekites a generation earlier.  That battle was one of ego and pride in which the people went out to fight without God's direction or blessing.

        Now, suddenly it was time to fight again.  This time a Canaanite king of Arad had attacked and taken hostages.  Moses led the people in making a vow on before Lord.  If the Lord would grant victory against this enemy, they would entirely "devote" or destroy the towns and people. No spoils of war.  A complete offering to the Lord.  The concept of such destruction sounds barbaric to our modern ears, but the Bible had actually predicted this time of judgment would come upon the Canaanites when the cup of their iniquity was full measure (Gen 15:16).  This was a judgment upon a sinful people who were polluting the land.

         This battle was very different from the one a generation earlier.  The king was a Canaanite in the region that was promised to God’s people.  This king attacked first and took hostages.  The battle was fought under the blessing and empowerment of the Lord.  This, in essence, was a holy war.

        Still, it must have been strange for young men to dust off their father's swords and spears.  This generation had never been trained in matters of war.  Of course, the previous generation had only been trained in slavery.  Freedom and love of one's people are powerful motivators to learn quickly.  By the mighty hand of the Lord, the first great victory of this new generation was won at a place they named Hormah.  This name is the same one that was used a generation earlier when the people were defeated.  The word means “to devote and destroy fully” to God.  It was probably significant to name this place in honor of the Lord’s victory.  Things could be different in this generation.

         A great deal could be said about war.  War is always a horrible thing.  But there are times when war is necessary to secure peace.  There are times when war is necessary to protect people.  There are times when war is used by the Lord as a judgment upon a people.  Of great importance here is the willingness of the next generation to take up the battle and move forward, trusting the Lord.  Moving into the Land of Promise will be no picnic.  There will be enemies.  There will be battles to fight.  There will be victories that must be won.  And all of this will require an utter commitment to the Lord.

          Devotionally, we do well to look at the big picture here.  We are not likely to be called into a holy war, and we need to be extremely careful in discerning such a call.  But we can see where the life battles fought in pride and self-reliance are an offense to the Lord and result in defeat. These are the battles we fight in our "flesh," relying upon our own direction and strength.  There are also life battles fought in utter commitment, and dependence upon the Lord results in victory. Such battles are fought in the Spirit, in complete surrender, with the Lord's armor. What sort of battle are you fighting?


          Father God, keep me from the battles of my own making.  Guide me and protect me from efforts that do not honor You.  Keep me in a place of total commitment to You.  Make me ready for the battles You are winning and the victories you are delivering for me. In Jesus’ name.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.