“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 captures some of them. Then Israel made vow to the Lord: ‘I you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities.’ 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 name Hormah.” (Numbers 21:1-3 – God’s Deliverance Is part of History)
Israel, in certain battles, dedicated the enemy “to the ban” (Hebrew – cherem) or total destruction. The practice illustrated Israel’s conviction that victory spoils belonged to God, who provided victory. This practice demonstrated Israel’s total obedience to God. The ban was not carried out the same in all battles and was not a rule for battles fought outside Israel’s cultural setting.
God acted to save His people when they obediently dedicated themselves to Him and His will. Each historical action was a separate test of the faithfulness of God’s people.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, this battle was a response to God’s requirement of total commitment to Him and His purposes. The battle was brought against Israel by king Arad who unleashed his army upon the Israelites, and the Israelites sought Him out to deliver them into their hands, as they were formally committing themselves to God along with His purposes. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“If you have enough Jesus to get to heaven, you have enough Jesus to get you to church.”
“Then David called one of his men and said, ‘Go, strike him down!’ So he struck him down, and he died. For David had said to him, ‘Your blood be on you own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’” (2nd Samuel 1:15-16-God’s Deliverance Is part of History)
In 1st Samuel 24:8-10: “Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, ‘My lord the king!’ When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He said to Saul, ‘Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’? This day you have seen with your own eyes how he Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’
Opportunity to defeat enemies is not permission to do so. God had chosen David to succeed Saul. God delivered Saul into David’s hands, but David knew that judgment, vengeance, and vindication were under God’s control. This foreshadowed Jesus’ teaching of love for enemies. If David had taken Saul’s life that day, He would have been taking God’s judgment into his own hands and it would show total disrespect for God and His historical actions.
“On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way. So we arrived in Jerusalem, where we rested three days.” (Ezra 8:31-32 – God’s Deliverance Is part of History )
God’s protection can be defined in a number of ways, however, in this context Ezra had received an offer of protection from the Persian king, but had declined saying God protected them thus far and they would depend upon Him the rest of the way. So, before leaving Ahava Canal, they sacrificed on an altar to God to protect them in their travels and that is what took place. They fully depended upon God to give them safe travels to Jerusalem.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“I will strengthen the house of Judah and save the house of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them. The Ephraimites will become like mighty men, and their hearts will be glad as with wine. Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the Lord. I will signal for them and gather them in . Surely I will redeem them; they will be as numerous as before. Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return. I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon, and there will not be room enough for them. They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up. Assyria’s pride will be brought down and Egypt’s scepter will pass away. I will strengthen them in the Lord and in his name they will walk., declares the Lord.” (Zechariah 10:6-12– God’s Deliverance Is part of History)
Divine compassion is the basis God’s people have to hope for historical deliverance. God would not listen to their prayer in 7:13, but the restoration He promised to answer. The prophet declared the end of Israel’s dispersion among the nations. God’s care and presence would reunite and strengthen them. As in the Exodus. God will reveal His salvation in historical events. Beloved, even far from home and from the center of religious activities, memories and traditions taught by family lead us to remember and worship God. What a God we serve!