Have Patience in Battle
“The Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you.” (Deuteronomy 7.22) Being prepared to enter the promised land, God hands down this message of encouragement. There are three parts to this promise. The first is a promise that God will provide the victory: “The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little”. Next, a command they should obey: “You may not make an end of them at once”. Then a consequence: “lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you.
O brother in Christ, God will do the fighting. He will provide the victory in battle; the victory is promised. How many verses tell us we are more than conquerors; that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world; that God is faithful to those who love Him? Only, be strong and courageous, and see what power the mighty hand of God will do through you. Only be sure to remember, it is the LORD’s pleasure to work slowly.
The Israelites are impeded by the order not to “make an end of them at once”. Why? Because they aren’t populous for such a vast amount of land yet. There will be too much empty space. There are (at least) two things to remember here. As God is providing your victory, GROW! The Israelites specifically needed to make more babies! While it may not be our lot in life to produce more children, we can “make disciples of all nations”, which in other verses are called children of God, and babes in Christ. Secondly, God is even using the evil in this world to accomplish His will. Knowing that God possesses this level of control over the world should, at the very least, provide a greater sense of calming and appreciation as the battles in our lives play out.
When we think about righteousness, we can easily fall into the false thinking that we can be perfect by desire alone. Our righteousness requires growth. James (5.7-8) encourages us to “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” Victory will happen, be patient with the process.