As a man not yet fully sanctified, I know the tendency to skim superficially through passages of Scripture such as this one. All of the unfamiliar names and territories can seem insignificant and blend together, not to mention nearly impossible to pronounce. But let’s pause a moment and reflect on the truth that these were real people and real places. There was a time when people knew who the king of Jarmuth was, or where exactly the river Jabbok was.
So what happens when we slowly read over each and every name or location given here? We see God at work through and for His people. I can’t say for certain, but I would venture to guess that if Moses saw this list of foes and was told that he would defeat them all, he might have a hard time believing it. After all, Moses is not identified for being a phenomenal military commander or a charismatic leader – in verse 6 Moses is identified by a title that means so much more: the servant of the LORD.
In a world of self-help manuals and to-do lists, this is a much-needed reminder that our own strength will only go so far (and if you’re like me, that distance isn’t too great). But we see that great victory comes when we live truly as a servant of the Lord. With every name here, we see God fulfilling His good, good promise. And we have some great promises from our Father. We are more than conquerors (Romans 8: 37); our Father goes before us (Deuteronomy 31:8); we have a sure and strong hope in Christ as our anchor (Hebrews 6:19).
So what foes do you feel like you will never defeat? Are you battling them on your own strength or will-power, or are you trusting and living as a servant of God? I do not want to diminish the struggles in your life (after all, surely many of the kings listed here were intimidating and formidable forces), but is any trouble larger than our Father? Do you trust that one day you will be able to look back on your life and say “Here is a list of the foes that God defeated under my feet.” Here lies depression. Anxiety. Doubt. Apathy. Financial struggles. Addiction. Uncertainty. Illness. A rebellious heart. Anger.
Friends, our God is able – are you ready to trust Him to provide the victory in His timing and with His strength? Will you share with others what victories God has given you?
By: Logan West
Pastoral Ministry Exposure Program Participant