Inheritance & the Collision Course With Conflict

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Numbers, which was written and recorded by Moses the servant of the LORD. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twenty-one and twenty-two of this Old Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find something unique taking place among the congregation of the children of Israel as they journeyed through the wilderness. Upon reading the opening verses of the twenty-first verse of this chapter you will encounter the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel beginning to experience conflict and opposition during their journeys in the wilderness. Up until this point during the journeys of the children of Israel there had been no conflict, nor had there been any strife—save for when the sons of Amalek came out against them in the wilderness shortly after they emerged from the land of Egypt. If you journey back to the seventeenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find the children of Israel continuing their relatively new journey through the wilderness after having beheld the great signs, wonders and judgments of the living God in the midst of the land of Egypt. The congregation of the children of Israel had witnessed and beheld as the LORD decimated and destroyed the land of Egypt, and how He had sent ten devastating plagues which not only consumed both man and beast alike, but also the land itself. The children of Israel had watched as the LORD went into war and battle—not only against Pharaoh, his rulers and princes, but also with the gods in the midst of the land of Egypt. We dare not miss and dare not lose sight of this, for when the children of Israel emerged from their slavery and bondage in the land of Egypt they did so with a strong hand, as the final devastating plague was the death of the firstborn among all those who lived and dwelt within the land of Egypt. A short time after the congregation of the children of Israel came forth from their slavery, bondage and oppression in the midst of the land of Egypt they came to the waters of the Red Sea, and it was there where they were forced to come face to face with an Egyptian army which pursued them in the wilderness to overtake them. The LORD God of the Hebrews, however, parted the waters to the right and to the left, and thus allowed the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel to pass through the waters unto the other side. When the Egyptians attempted to follow the congregation of the children of Israel through the waters the LORD caused the wheels of their chariots to come off, thrust them all into confusion, and then brought the waters of the Red Sea crashing down upon them.

As we come to the seventeenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus we find the congregation of the children of Israel having witnessed and beheld the great signs and wonders the living God wrought on their behalf in the midst of the land of Egypt, and how the living God had fought for them to deliver and bring them forth from the land. The congregation of the children of Israel beheld as the pillar of fire by night stood between the assembly of the children of Israel and the Egyptians when they came upon them at the Red Sea, and would ultimately watch and behold as the LORD completely and utterly destroyed them in the midst of the waters of the Red Sea. It was in the context of the signs and wonders the LORD God of the Hebrews wrought and performed in the land of Egypt, and even the wonderful display of power He showed at the Red Sea that we find the congregation of the children of Israel encountering the sons of Amalek. It’s worth noting that when the Egyptians pursued the congregation and children of Israel into the wilderness and came upon them at the waters of the Red Sea, the LORD God fought for them as He completely and utterly destroyed them with the waters which were a wall to the assembly of Israel. At the Red Sea the living God had fought for and on behalf of the congregation of the children of Israel, however, when you come to the seventeenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find the congregation of the children of Israel facing and experiencing conflict for the first time since coming forth from the land of Egypt. Consider if you will the narrative and account of the children of Israel shortly after they emerged from the slavery, bondage and oppression of the land of Egypt, and passed through the waters of the Red Sea. If you begin reading with and from the eighth verse of the seventeenth chapter you will find the following words which were written by Moses the servant of the LORD:

“Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-Nissi: For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation” (Exodus 17:8-16).

What makes the words which we find in the twentieth chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers so incredibly intriguing and captivating is when you think about the fact that outside of the brief conflict between Amalek and the congregation of Israel shortly after they emerged from the wilderness, they didn’t really experience any conflict with the enemies or adversaries before and around them. If you read the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers you will quickly find and discover that up until this point within the history and narrative of the congregation of the children of Israel their journey was pretty much free from any sort of conflict with the nations and peoples round about and before them. Much of the conflict and strife which has existed within the congregation of the children of Israel has been their own making and their own doing, as they would complain against the LORD—not only for not having any water, but also for not having bread or food in the wilderness. The Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers have mostly been absent any type of real conflict, any real struggle, any real battle which the congregation of the children of Israel had to face—until now. It isn’t until we come to the twentieth chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers when we begin to notice the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel experiencing strife and conflict with the nations and peoples before and around them. In fact, what makes this even more intriguing is when you think about and consider the fact that the first real conflict the children of Israel faced and experienced—aside from the conflict with Amalek—is found in the twentieth chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers as we read of the congregation of the children of Israel attempting to pass through the borders of Edom. What marks and makes this even more astounding is when you think about and consider the fact that Edom and the people of Edom were descendants of Esau who was the twin brother of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel. When you come to the fourteenth verse of the twentieth chapter you will find the congregation and assembly of Israel experiencing their first true conflict, and what makes it even more captivating is that it was essentially a conflict with their own brother. Consider if you will the words which are found within this particular passage of Scripture beginning to read with and from the fourteenth verse of the twentieth chapter:

“And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us: How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers: and when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy borer: Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyard, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king’s high way, we will not turn to the right hand not to the left, until we have passed thy borders. And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword. And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing any thing else, go through on my feet. And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand. Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him” (Numbers 20:14-21).

That which we find within these verses is rather remarkable when you truly take the time to consider it, for it brings you face to face with the first conflict the congregation of the children of Israel faced since coming forth from the land of Egypt. What makes this particular conflict even more alarming is when you consider that Israel asked for safe passage through the borders of Edom, however, Edom refused to allow Israel passage through its border. What’s more, is that not only did Edom refuse to allow Israel passage through its borders, but Edom also threatened to march out against the congregation of the children of Israel with the sword if they did in fact dare pass through their borders. The end and conclusion of this particular narrative reveals how Edom did in fact come out against Israel with much people and with a strong hand and thus refused to allow Israel passage through its borders. When Israel realized that they were prohibited from passing through the borders of Israel, they turned away from their brother and sought an alternative route. TURNING AWAY FROM YOUR BROTHER! I have to admit that I find it absolutely captivating to read the narrative of the congregation of the children of Israel asking to pass through the border of Edom their brother, and yet not only did Edom refuse to grant them safe passage, but Edom also came out against them with much people, and with a strong hand. How incredibly intriguing it is to think and consider the fact that Edom did more than simply refuse passage for Israel his brother through his land and territory, but he actually went so far as to threaten him with much people and with a strong hand and force. It’s quite astounding to think about and consider the fact that Edom’s first real conflict during their journeys in the wilderness was not merely against another nation or people, but was in fact against their own brother, which were descendants of Esau the twin brother of Jacob. How incredibly tragic it is to think that when Israel sought to continue their journey through the wilderness they came to the border of Edom, and you would think that they would have been welcomed by Esau—particularly and especially after the warm reunion which took place between Jacob and Esau after years of separation between the two brothers. The truth of the matter, however, is that instead of being welcomed and embraced by Edom, and instead of being allowed to pass through his borders, Edom instead refused passage for Israel, and even marched against him with a strong hand and with much people.

If there is one thing I can’t help but consider when reading the words in these chapters it’s the tremendous challenge—even the tremendous naiveté—we sometimes face thinking we can move through life absent any type of conflict or strife. It is true the congregation of the children of Israel had experienced a series of trials during their journeys through the wilderness, however, one thing we must make note of is that there really wasn’t any real conflict or struggle. The underlying question we have to ask ourselves is what do we do when we have enjoyed a life that has been relatively free from conflict and strife, and suddenly we find ourselves in the middle of something we neither anticipated nor expected? What do we do when we find ourselves right in the middle of something we have never experienced before—perhaps something we never even thought we would face? It’s worth noting and pointing out that the children of Israel perhaps thought to themselves they wouldn’t experience any type of conflict on this side of the promise and on this side of the inheritance, however, the truth of the matter is that the congregation of the children of Israel are a powerful example of the reality that at some point within our lives we can and will experience conflict and struggle—perhaps even something we weren’t expecting or anticipating. The congregation of the children of Israel knew they would wander through the wilderness for a period of forty years, and I can’t help but wonder if many of them began thinking to themselves how they would avoid the conflict and struggles that would arise in the midst of the land. The congregation had already murmured against Moses when ten of the twelve spies brought back a negative report of slander concerning the land—namely, how the land was filled with nations and peoples that were stronger and mightier than they were, and even how the descendants of the sons of Anak were there. The congregation of the children of Israel had known that it would be more than simply entering into the land of Canaan and the land be handed to them on a silver platter, for when the twelve spies returned from scouting the land they acknowledged that they did have walled cities with great defenses, and that there were the descendants of Anak that were in the midst of the land. With that being said—since they would no longer enter into and inherit the land of Canaan—they might very well have avoided conflict and struggle on this side of the inheritance and on this side of the promise.

The more I read and the more I consider the words which are found within these chapters the more I can’t help but ask myself what we do and how we respond when we find ourselves facing conflicts and struggles we perhaps weren’t thinking about or expecting. We would be incredibly naïve—perhaps even deceived—into thinking that we can walk through this life without facing and experiencing any conflict, any struggles, any trials, any problems, any battles, and the like. Up until this point the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel had experienced hunger and thirst as their main struggles, however, there would come a point in time when the conflict and struggle would move beyond physical needs to external forces which they would need to engage themselves. As you come to the twentieth chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers you will find the congregation beginning to experiencing conflict and struggle beyond hunger and thirst, for they would now experience conflict with nations and peoples before and around them. The question I find myself asking is what framework do we have within our lives when we experience conflicts and struggles beyond what we have been used to. This isn’t to say that we have already experienced hasn’t been legitimate and wasn’t difficult to endure, but what it touches on is when we find ourselves stepping into an entirely new conflict we had not experienced before. For the congregation of the children of Israel their conflict and struggle was in the realm of physical need, but their conflict and struggle would not translate into the realm of actually experiencing opposition from nations and enemies which were before and around them. At this point during the journeys of the children of Israel they were drawing closer to the borders of the inheritance, and as such—the closer they came to their inheritance, the more opposition they would experience face. Have you ever noticed that within your own life? Have you ever found yourself stepping closer to the promise of God within your life only to find and discover that you begin facing conflicts and struggles that seem to rise up against you out of nowhere? Have you ever found yourself preparing to step into the inheritance and destiny that has been ordained by God and you begin experiencing opposition that threatens to keep you out?

I sit here today and I can’t help but think that while it was true there were enemies and adversaries within the land of Canaan which when the congregation of the children of Israel entered in sought to fight against them to drive them out, there were nations, peoples, enemies and adversaries outside of the land of Canaan which sought to prevent—not only from passing through their borders, but also from entering into the land of their inheritance and possession. I read the narrative and account concerning the conflicts and struggles which rose up before the congregation of the children of Israel and I can’t help but get the strong sense that as they drew nearer to the land which was to be their inheritance, and as they drew near to that place which was to be their possession the conflicts and struggles began to emerge which they had not previously experienced. There is not a doubt in my mind that as you think about and consider the closer you get to your inheritance and that place of destiny, the greater the conflicts and struggles you might find yourself facing. Instead of experiencing struggles of provision within your life you might very well find yourself facing conflicts and struggles against very real enemies which seek to destroy you. It’s interesting and worth noting that there were the Egyptians who emerged after the congregation of the children of Israel left and departed from the land of Egypt to bring them back into the place of slavery, bondage and oppression, and there were also the Amalekites who might not necessarily have sought to take them into bondage or oppression, but nonetheless sought to spoil and plunder them. We do know that the children of Israel came forth from the land of Egypt with a high hand having completely plundered and spoiled them, and it might very well be that the Amalekites heard of the congregation of the children of Israel coming forth from the land of Egypt and sought to plunder this people which had entered into the wilderness. Once the congregation of the children of Israel defeated the Amalekites the amount of conflict, struggle and they faced—particularly in the realm of warfare and battle was virtually non-existent. What I find to be so absolutely intriguing about that which is found within these chapters is that we begin to notice the congregation of the children of Israel in conflict with the nations and peoples round about the Promised Land—the king of Canaan because of the account of the twelve spies, as well as Sihon of the Amorites, Og of Bashan, and finally Balak king of Moab.

WHEN NATIONS AND PEOPLES ARE DISTRESSED BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD! WHEN KINGS ARE THREATENED BECAUSE OF WHAT THE LORD IS DOING IN YOUR MIDST! THE TIME HAS COME TO CONFRONT KINGS BEFORE YOU! What I find to be so absolutely astonishing about this particular portion of scripture is that the narrative of the congregation of the children of Israel begins to transition and bring them closer to the borders of the land which was to be an inheritance for them. I read the words which are found within these chapters and am struck with the fact that while it was indeed true the living God was bringing the congregation of the children of Israel closer to the land of their inheritance they would begin to experience conflict and struggle completely different from what they had previously experienced. As you come to and approach these chapters you will find the congregation of the children of Israel drawing closer to the land of their inheritance and possession, and as such, they would begin to encounter the kings of the peoples who lived and dwelt around and round about the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance. ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH KINGS! What we must recognize when reading these chapters is that the closer the congregation of the children of Israel came to the borders of their inheritance, the more such a journey would bring them into the place of confrontation and conflict. What’s more is that as you read the words which are found within these chapters you will find that the congregation of their children of Israel drawing nearer unto the place of rest and inheritance, and yet as they fame near and approached the place of their inheritance and blessing they would be on a collision course with the kings of the nations round about the land into which they were going. It’s absolutely necessary that before the children of Israel could cross over the Jordan river and enter into that land which flowed with milk and honey they first needed to confront and engage the nations and people which dwelt in the land and territory round about it. This is incredibly important for us to recognize and understand, for it will help us to understand how the living God works within our hearts and lives, and how He prepares to bring us into the place of our inheritance and destiny.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about the fact that the closer the congregation of the children of Israel came to the land which was to be there’s for an inheritance the more they were thrust on a collision course with conflict. ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH CONFLICT! I find it absolutely intriguing and worth nothing that the closer we come to and the closer we approach that which is to be an inheritance and possession for us, the more we are thrust into a place of conflict which we had not experienced prior to that time period. It might very well be said that one of the sure fire and one of the tell tale signs that you are drawing near and approaching the place of inheritance and possession within your life is the increased conflict that seems to arise within your life. We must remember the words which the apostle Paul spoke when he emphatically declared unto those who would keep him out of the city of Jerusalem that we must needs through many trials enter into the kingdom of heaven. I find it absolutely incredible when reading the words of these chapters that as the children of Israel drew nearer unto the place of their inheritance they would be forced to confront kings of the nations which surrounded and were round about the land. If you study the geography of the land at that time you will find that the land which was to be their inheritance was surrounded and bordered by the Philistines, the Amorites, the Moabites, and even the Ammonites. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this tremendous reality, for it helps us understand the nature of inheritance and possession within our lives. The congregation of the children of Israel would draw nearer unto the place of their inheritance and as such they would be forced to confront certain kings of the land—first with simple requests to pass through their land, and in some instances responding to their refusal of safe passage with decisive force. Reading these chapters will being you face to face with the reality that the congregation of the children of Israel requested of the king of Edom that he allow them safe passage through his land and territory, and yet the king of Edom not only refused them safe passage, but he also came out against them with much people and with a great force. A similar reality is found in the narrative when you come to the twenty-first chapter and find the children of isreal asking Sihon king of Heshbon among the Amorites for safe passage through his land. Not only did Sihon refuse passage but he too came out against them with a decisive force intended to threaten and intimidate them.

INTIMIDATION PRECEDES INHERITANCE! THREATENING PRECEDES POSSESSION! Perhaps one of the most powerful realities when reading and considering the words which are found within these chapters is when you think about and consider how the enemy would use intimidation to instill fear into the hearts of the congregation of the children of Israel. As you read the words found within these chapters you will find the congregation of Israel asking for safe passage through two different territories—first the territory and land of Edom his brother, and second through the territory of the land of Sihon the king of Heshbon. It’s quite intriguing to think about and consider the fact that when Israel attempted to ask for safe passage through both of these territories—not only did both kings refuse safe passage for the congregation of the children of Israel, but both kings came out against them with a great force and with much people. As the children of Israel drew nearer to the land and place of their inheritance they would find themselves on a collision course with both kings and peoples of the land, and that collision course would thrust them directly into the place where they would face and experience conflict they had not experienced up to that point. The interesting reality concerning these chapters is when you think about the fact when the congregation of the children of Israel asked the king of Edom for safe passage through his land, and when the king of Edom refused passage and came out against them with much people and with a great force, the congregation of the children of Israel turned away instead of engaging in and entering into conflict with them. This, however, is drastically and noticeably different when you think about and consider the fact that when a similar reality was found with Sihon king of Heshbon, the congregation of the children of Israel actually entered into conflict and warfare with and against them. There is a drastic and fundamental difference between these two encounters and interactions, for while Edom came out against them with much people and a great show of force, the congregation of the children of Israel wouldn’t engage them in warfare and conflict. The question I can’t help but ask is why would Israel deliberately and intentionally turn away from Edom when he came out against them? Why when Edom marched out against them with a great force would the congregation and children of Israel turn away? The underlying answer to this question is actually found in the request which Moses spoke unto the king of Edom when he sent messengers unto him. You will recall in the message Moses sent unto the king of Edom that he referred to the congregation of the children of Israel as his brother. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this absolutely tremendous and powerful reality, for even though and even when Edom marched out against Israel in the wilderness and on the borders of the surrounding lands, Israel would and could not lift up a sword against him. The answer to why the congregation of the children of Israel would and could not lift and raise up a sword against them was due to the fact that Edom was indeed the brother of Israel, and that as surely as the living God was going to give the congregation of Israel an inheritance of land in the midst of the nations, the LORD had already given Edom an inheritance and possession within the earth. It was not for the congregation of the children of Israel to try and take land and territory which belonged unto his brother—land which was given unto his brother because according to the divine plan and providence of God he would have an inheritance within the earth.

If there is one thing we must learn and recognize when reading these chapters, it’s that even though you might be on your way and on your journey into the place of inheritance, promise and blessing, that doesn’t give you the right to engage your brother in conflict. Even if your brother rise up against you as you pursue the inheritance and possession of the living God within the earth, you are to not lift up a single finger, nor are you to raise a hand against him. What we must recognize is that your brother has just as much a right to an inheritance in the earth as you do. It is not for you to try and steal or take over the possession and inheritance of your brother in the midst of the earth in an attempt to secure your own possession. If you study the narrative of the congregation of the children of Israel you will quickly discover the absolutely astonishing reality that there were certain nations and lands which they could not touch and could not take as their own for their own possession. Such lands which the congregation of the children of Israel could not lay a hand on and attempt to take possession for themselves were the lands of Moab and Ammon, for those living within these two lands were descendants of Lot which was the nephew of Abraham. The land of Edom was also off limits for the congregation of the children of Israel, for the land which belonged to Edom was not to be an inheritance for them since it was given unto the descendants of Edom who was the brother of Israel. It’s absolutely worth noting and considering when reading the words found within these chapters that when the congregation of the children of Israel were moving toward the land and place of their inheritance, they would and could not take possession of that which did not belong to them, and that which had not been given to them. Even though the king of Edom marched against the congregation and assembly of Israel with much people and with a great force, they could not enter into and engage in conflict with him since Edom was his brother. This reality is worth making note of, for although we find ourselves thrust into conflict as we draw closer to the place of our inheritance we must learn to discern between those conflicts and what is actually for us to engage ourselves in. Both Sihon king of Heshbon, and the king of Edom marched out against the assembly of Israel with much people and with a great force, and yet the congregation of the children of Israel refrained from engaging Edom in conflict and battle, and instead engaged Sihon king of Heshbon of the Amorites in battle there on the eastern side of the inheritance.

How absolutely remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that not every conflict we experience and not every struggle we face are for us to actively engage ourselves in. The king of Edom did indeed and did in fact march out against the congregation of the children of Israel, and yet the congregation of Israel could not engage in conflict and warfare against them, for Edom was the brother of Israel, and the land and territory which belonged to them had been given by the living God. Israel would not be permitted to lift up the sword against his brother in battle to inflict causalities and damage, for the land and territory which belonged to Edom would never be theirs for a possession. What’s more, is that as we read the words found within these chapters we must recognize and understand that even if our brother or our sister engages in conflict against us as we draw nearer and pursue our inheritance and possession in the earth, we are not to allow ourselves to lift up a finger and raise a hand toward and against them. It was true that Edom did in fact march out against the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel, however, that did not give Israel a license, nor did it give them permission to retaliate and lift up the sword against them. If there is one thing we must learn when reading the words within these passages, it’s that even if our brother rises up against us in opposition as we pursue the place of our inheritance, promise, possession and blessing, we are not to retaliate against our brother, but are to choose the path of humility and meekness in its place. It would have been very easy for the congregation of the children of Israel to lift up the sword against their brother and seek to overtake and overpower them, however, it was not for them to lift up the sword against their brother, nor was it their place to attempt to take control of any territory of their brother. It’s necessary for us to think about and consider this reality, for there might very well be times when as we draw nearer to that which the living God has for us in this life, and that which the living God has for us in the earth, we might find ourselves coming face to face with our brother or our sister who would rise up against us when we seek to ask for help as we pursue that which the living God has for us. The congregation of the children of Israel wasn’t asking for land, nor were they asking for food, or water, or anything else from Edom—simply safe passage through their land and through their borders—and yet the king of Edom was unwilling to allow them to pass through their borders and through their territory. Oh, it is possible when you draw nearer to the place of inheritance, promise and blessing within your life that your brother and/or your sister might very well rise up against you, and might seek to threaten and intimidate you, however, you must recognize the incredible need for discernment to recognize what conflicts and what struggles are for you to engage yourself in.

It was true that Edom marched out against the congregation of the children of Israel with much people and with a great force, however, the congregation of the children of Israel would and could not retaliate against them because of their threats and intimidation. When, however, you find a similar reality taking place with Sihon king of Heshbon of the Amorites, you will find the congregation of the children of Israel engaging them with the sword and engaging them in battle in order that they might overtake and overthrow them. If you begin reading with and from the twenty-first verse of the twenty-first chapter you will quickly notice a strong similarity between Israel asking Edom for safe passage through their border, and Israel asking Sihon for safe passage through their border. In the twenty-third verse of the twenty-first chapter you will find Sihon king of Heshbon of the Amorites not suffering Israel to pass through his border, and instead gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and fought against Israel. This is a marked and noticeable difference between what happened between Edom and Israel, for although the king of Edom marched out against Israel with a great force and with much people, he would not actually fight against the congregation of the children of Israel. This isn’t to say that he perhaps wouldn’t have engaged in such conflict and battle had the children of Israel sought to retaliate against and toward him, but what we learn and discover from the twentieth chapter is that the king of Edom merely came out against the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel with a great show of force and power, yet did not actually engage Israel in conflict and battle. This would not be the case for Sihon king of Heshbon of the Amorites, for Sihon would march out with all his people and would indeed fight against Israel in the midst of the wilderness. What you find and what you read within this chapter is not only that Sihon king of Heshbon fought against the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel, but Israel fought back and smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon. What’s more, is that you will find and read that Israel took all these cities, and dwelt in all the cites of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof. How absolutely incredible it is to think about the fact that the closer the congregation of the children of Israel came to their inheritance and the place of promise, the more the enemy and adversary sought to threaten them and use intimidation against them—perhaps to instill fear within their hearts, and perhaps even to overthrow and overpower them.

That which we find within these chapters must be carefully understood, for not only do we find the king of Edom marching out against the congregation of the children of Israel with much people and with a great force, but we also find Sihon king of Heshbon marching out against the congregation of the children of Israel with all his people to fight against them in the wilderness. What’s more, is that thou will also find the king of the Canaanites—when he had learned that the congregation of the children of Israel had come by way of the spies—came against them and took some of them prisoners. Even more than this, you will find that Og king of Bashan also marched against the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel in order that he might overtake and overthrow them. In fact, the final verses of the twenty-first chapter describe how Og king of Bashan went out against the congregation of the children of Israel, together with all his people, to the battle at Edrei. Here at this particular place, however, the LORD would speak unto Moses and instruct him to not fear Og, nor his people, for He had delivered him into their hand, and all his people, and all his land. Furthermore, you will find the living God declaring unto Moses that just as the congregation of the children of Israel had done unto Sihon king of Heshbon and his people, so also would the congregation of the children of Israel do unto Og and all his people. The narrative goes on to describe how the congregation of the children of Israel smote Og king of Bashan, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left alive, and they possessed his land. The narratives you find within these chapters is quite remarkable and astonishing when you truly consider it, for within these chapters we find the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel being threatened and intimidated by kings and peoples within the lands on the eastern side of their inheritance, and yet the congregation of the children of Israel would smite both Og king of Bashan, and Sihon king of Heshbon—both who were kings in the midst of the Amorites—and would destroy all their people, as well as take possession of their land. It’s worth noting how the enemy and adversary would use intimidation and force in order to try and threaten the congregation of the children of Israel and overpower them in the wilderness. This we must recognize and must consider with our hearts, for when you do think about and consider it, you will come face to face with the reality that the enemy and adversary has always and will always use any means necessary to keep you from entering into your possession.

Within these chapters we find the congregation of the children of Israel smiting the king of Canaan and releasing those prisoners which he had taken, and we also find the congregation of the children of Israel smiting both Og king of Bashan, as well as Sihon king of Heshbon—together with all their people who were with them—and taking possession of their land. THERE’S LAND TO TAKE POSSESSION OF ON THIS SIDE! LEARNING TO TAKE POSSESSION ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE LAND BEFORE ENTERING IN! There is not a doubt in my mind that what we find within these chapters is a truly powerful picture of work to be done on the eastern side of the Jordan River and on the eastern side of the inheritance and possession, as the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel would indeed engage in conflict and battle with two distinct kings of the Amorites, and would not only engage in conflict and battle against them, but would also smite them, utterly consume them, and take possession of their land. If there is one thing to consider when reading these chapters and passages it’s that before the congregation of the children of Israel would enter into the land of Canaan and engage in the conflicts and conquests within the land, they would first learn how to engage the enemy in battle on the eastern side of the inheritance, and would first learn how to take possession of land and territory. How absolutely remarkable it is to think about and consider the absolutely wonderful reality that when the congregation of the children of Israel entered into the land of Canaan that wasn’t the first time they would take possession of land and strike down the enemy before them. I am firmly convinced that the LORD God of the Hebrews permitted both kings of the Amorites to march out against the congregation of the children of Israel—not only to teach them warfare and how to defeat and overthrow their enemies to take possession of land, but also to give them a possession and inheritance on the eastern side of the Jordan River. I firmly believe that what we find within these chapters is the living God using these two conflicts and battles to make ready and prepare the congregation of the children of Israel for that which they would face in the land of Canaan, for the LORD would not have them unprepared for what they would face in the midst of the land. It would be true the LORD would part the waters of the Jordan River and allow the children of Israel pass through the waters on dry ground, however, we must also recognize and understand that the LORD would not defeat and overthrow their enemies for them—save the living God causing the walls of Jericho to collapse before the congregation and children of Israel. Even with the walls of the city of Jericho collapsing before the congregation of the children of Israel they would still need to march up into the land and smite with the sword all the inhabitants of the city—save Rahab the harlot and her household who were with her in her house upon the wall.

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the fact that the closer the congregation of the children of Israel drew to their inheritance and to the place of possession, the more they would find themselves engaged in conflict, in struggle and in battle against enemies and adversaries who would seek to threaten and intimidate them. We must recognize and understand when reading the words which are found within these chapters that the LORD God of the Hebrews would allow them to experience and face conflict and struggle on the eastern side of the Jordan and on the eastern side of the inheritance and possession in order that He might make ready and prepare them for the appointed time when they would pass over the Jordan River, enter into the land which was before them, and being to take possession and conquer the land. The congregation of the children of Israel would encounter and experience conflict and struggle as they drew nearer to their inheritance and place of possession, and they would find themselves facing strong elements of fear and intimidation as both kings of the Amorites would march against and fight against them in the wilderness. Not only this, but the king of the Canaanites would also fight against the congregation of the children of Israel and would even take some of them prisoners. Much like the kings of the valley during the days of Abraham and Lot would take Lot and others prisoners, and as Abraham would take men and overtake these kings and rescue his nephew Lot, as well as possessions and goods, so now would the congregation of the children of Israel—the descendants of Abraham—engage themselves in the very same reality, as they would fight against that king and people who rose up against them, and would even take some among them as prisoners. Oh that we would read these words and truly recognize the devices of the enemy and adversary within our lives, and how the adversary can and will use means of threatenings and intimidations in order to strike fear within our hearts, and even to overthrow and prevent us from entering into that which the living God has promised us. That which we find within these chapters must be carefully considered, and must be carefully understood, for we must recognize and discern how the enemy and adversary will work within our lives, but also how the living God uses such conflicts and struggles to make ready and prepare us for the appointed them when we enter into that which was ordained and appointed for us as an inheritance and possession in the earth during these Last Days.

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