Deuteronomy 20 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“When you go to war against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them, for the L_rd your G_d, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you.” Deut 20: 1
“When you are about to engage in battle, priest is to come forward and address the army. He is to say to them: ‘Listen, Israel: Today you are about to engage in battle with your enemies. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, alarmed, or terrified because of them. For the L_rd your G_d is the One who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deut 20: 2-4
“The officers will continue to address the army and say, ‘Is there a man who is afraid, or fainthearted? Let him leave and return, so that his brothers’ hearts won’t melt like his own.’” Deut 20: 8
A few years back, American suspense novelist, Steven King, wrote a book called “On Writing”. Less a text about the rudiments of writing, “On Writing” was more of a biography. In King’s opinion, the “how to” must take a back seat to the “why”, and good writing has less to do with technique, and more to do with how the writer filters life experience to the page. In short, to understand Steven King’s writing process, you must understand his life. “Life experience” is the filter he uses to sift novels from casual observation.
In his book, King wrote, “Fear is at the foundation of everything bad.” It’s an interesting statement from a fellow who has made his living in the “horror” genre. But I believe he is right, simply because his words bear witness to Biblical truth. Whenever Yeshua, angels, Prophets or the L_rd show up in Scripture, their first words are usually, “Don’t fear!” Fear is mistrust, the opposite of faith. If the L_rd is anything, He is holy and, as such, trustworthy.
The command to “fear the L_rd” is often misunderstood. “Fearing the L_rd” means to worship, honor, and respect His power & authority. For many, “fearing G_d” means to be terrified of Him. Perhaps, a little John 3:16 would have been in order for the Israelites…G_d doesn’t HATE you, He LOVES you.
We are “war babies”, in that we’ve all been born into an ongoing spiritual war. It’s all we’ve ever known. The World is not a playground, as much as it is a spiritual battleground…yet we are commanded to not be afraid in the midst of its hatred of us.
If “fear” is mistrust, then “trust” must be the presence of faith…hope in things unseen. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of G_d. Be encouraged to continue with your daily Bible study. By fortifying your hearts with G_d’s promises, and experiencing His faithfulness through His Word, you are preparing yourselves to enter the “battlefield” each day, fearless. BTW, Experiencing life through the filter of Scripture is how we sift our faithfulness from fear.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Wednesday, July 2, 2014