Monday, March 26

The promised win

Scripture: Joshua 23-24, Psalm 44, 1 Corinthians 11

Joshua 24:11-13 I handed them over to you. 12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, and it drove out the two Amorite kings  before you. It was not by your sword or bow. 13 I gave you a land you did not labor for, and cities you did not build.

Psalm 44:2-3 You drove out the nations with Your hand; to settle them,

You crushed the peoples. 3 For they did not take the land by their sword—

their arm did not bring them victory—but by Your right hand, Your arm,

and the light of Your face, for You were pleased with them.

Psalm 44:6-8 For I do not trust in my bow, and my sword does not bring me victory. 7 But You give us victory over our foes and let those who hate us be disgraced. 8 We boast in God all day long; we will praise Your name forever.

Observation

Psalm 44 seems to come from Joshua 24—it repeats some of the same themes.

It was God who gave Israel victory.  It wasn’t Israel’s sword or bow; it was God who gave them the land.

Therefore, the psalmist says, we don’t trust in our sword or bow (our strength or ability), but we trust in God and boast in Him.

Application

The win was promised because Israel was doing what God commanded and following His lead.  We can’t expect God to fight our battles if they are just our battles, not His.  He doesn’t promise we’ll win when we’re doing our thing, not His.  But when we are doing what He commands, we can expect His power, His help.

I thought of the final verse of the Great Commission, “I am with you always to the end of the age.”  This promise is to those on mission.  When we’re doing what He commands, we can expect His presence and His power.

As if to underscore this idea, the Lord told Israel that if they abandon Him and worship other gods, they are on their own, and will be soundly defeated.

So this is not a promise of victory no matter what.  Some Christians have used it that way—to support their own causes or projects.  The promised win is when we are doing God’s bidding.

I can obey God and do His mission with confidence that He is with me and working powerfully to accomplish His purposes.  This week I will look for evidence of God’s power as I do His work.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for this promise that as I obey You, You will powerfully at work to accomplish Your purpose.