"Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you." Deuteronomy 3:22
The book of Deuteronomy begins with Moses reviewing the history of Israel, as he prepares the Israelites to enter Canaan with Joshua as his successor. He specifically recounts encouraging Joshua to not fear the kingdoms, as they were to possess the land east of the Jordan River, because the Lord was fighting for him. Moses knew that Joshua and the children of Israel would soon encounter a great battle while taking possession of the Promised Land and that battle would, no doubt, lead to temptation to fear and perhaps the Israelites disobediently compromising to the ways of the inhabitants.
Moses knew that in the past, partly because of fear, the Israelites grumbled, complained, and blamed the Lord and him after leaving the land of Egypt. Because of hardened, stubborn, and fearful hearts, the previous generation of Israelites were judged and punished by God to wander in the wilderness for forty years until the last of that generation perished. Moses was well aware that Joshua would also face fear, as the people would press to defiantly choose their own way, while he would attempt to lead them into Canaan, as well as while they inhabited Canaan. Moses charged them all to remember the previous battle and to recall that they should not succumb to fear, but to know that the Lord is the one fighting for them.
For the Israelites to possess their inheritance, it would require action on their part. The Lord had already promised the land and commanded them to overtake the land, but to remove all remnants of the inhabitant’s possessions. Joshua and the Israelites would only need to remember and meditate on the fact that, as in the past, they were not to be frightened but to know the Lord was fighting for them.
Moses intentionally recalled and reminded the Israelites of each encounter. It also reminds us that with every battle and with every challenge comes the temptation to fear and to doubt. When we fear and doubt, we ultimately doubt the Lord’s goodness, His greatness, and His sovereignty. In essence, we are, in our own eyes, making the battle and the challenge bigger than the greatness of the Lord and we doubt that the Lord controls all things. As you obediently follow the Lord and you are faced with a battle, reminisce as Moses did and encourage yourself and others by continuously saying, “Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you.”
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,