Deuteronomy 2:26-37

26 “So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, 27 ‘Let me pass through your land, I will [q]travel only on the highway; I will not turn aside to the right or to the left. 28 You will sell me food for money so that I may eat, and give me water for money so that I may drink, only let me pass through on [r]foot, 29 just as the sons of Esau who live in Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I cross over the Jordan into the land which the Lord our God is giving to us.’ 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass [s]through his land; for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he istoday. 31 The Lord said to me, ‘See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land [t]over to you. Begin to [u]occupy, that you may possess his land.’

32 “Then Sihon [v]with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz. 33 The Lord our God delivered him [w]over to us, and we [x]defeated him with his sons and all his people. 34 So we captured all his cities at that time and [y]utterly destroyed [z]the men, women and children of every city. We left no survivor. 35 We took only the animals as our booty and the spoil of the cities which we had captured. 36 From Aroer which is on the edge of the [aa]valley of Arnon and from the city which is in the [ab]valley, even to Gilead, there was no city that was too high for us; the Lord our God delivered all [ac]over to us. 37 Only you did not go near to the land of the sons of Ammon, all along the [ad]river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, and wherever the Lord our God had commanded us.

The description of how God made King Sihon stubborn and defiant sounds a lot like the Pharaoh of Egypt. While we don’t know why, God had marked these leaders for destruction, and now the time of judgment had come.

The theme is similar again, it was God who gave them the victory. While it might seem like an army of 600k men could do whatever they wanted, there are several examples where they fought when they were not supposed to. The results were not pretty, and always included a resounding defeat.

When we seek God’s heart and plan for our lives, we can trust that he will be with us every step of the way. When we go our own way, refusing to listen to God, we may end up like the Israelites were at times, or even worse, like King Sihon.

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