“Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the Lord thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt;” ~ Deuteronomy 7:18
As the Hebrew people were about to enter the Promised Land, security was at the forefront of their concerns. Would they be able to defeat the Canaanites? Would they be safe? The battles ahead meant their lives were at risk.
Moses instructed them to gain the courage they need by remembering that God had protected them from Pharaoh and the Egyptians. The Hebrews had been enslaved and oppressed them greatly. But, as a people, they had thrived: They had continued to grow in number despite the persecution they suffered BECAUSE God had a plan for them (Exodus 1:10-12).
If God could protect them in Egypt, surely He could and would protect them in Canaan. If God protected them at the start of their mission, surely God would protect them all the way to the completion of that mission.
Like the Hebrew nation, Believers also must remember that God has a plan for each of us (Ephesians 2:10). And, therefore, while we are walking in His will there is nothing that can prevent that mission from being accomplished. God protects us so that we can accomplish His purpose for us.
We can see this principle at work in Jesus’ life. Jesus was protected by God so that He could complete His mission by dying on the cross, crucified for our redemption. Despite efforts to kill Him (e.g., John 7:30, 45-46, Luke 4:28-30), no one was successful until the time was right.
The key then to God’s protection is to be about His business. As long as we are in His will, we can be sure of His protection.
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” ~ Psalm 20:7
But, wrapped in the remembrance of God’s protection is also God’s priority of protection. When we think of protection, safety from all types of physical harm is usually at the forefront of our thoughts.
Conversely, as Scripture shows, God prioritizes the spiritual man over the physical man (e.g., consider Job). Indeed, God will often allow the body to suffer so that the spirit can thrive.
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16
For most of us, the real challenge of relying on God’s protection is accepting His prioritization. Our struggle then is more about whether God will protect us the way we want Him to, rather than whether or not God will protect us.
But there is no other way: God is our ONLY protector. The devil seeks to destroy us and we can’t protect ourselves. We must, therefore, look to God and trust Him. We must learn to value the spiritual man over the physical man.
“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” ~ Psalm 91:2
This is the first of a nine-part series on Principles for the Promised Land summarized from the book of Deuteronomy