OceanSide church of Christ
Read devotionals for February 2023
March 1, 2023
Deuteronomy 2:26, 27 – And I will send messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the high way, I will neither turn unto the right hand or to the left
Thought: God had a specific land designated for the children of Israel. It was God’s plan to take Israel to that land, drive the sinful inhabitants out, and divide the land between the twelve tribes. As God’s people progressed toward Canaan, they had to pass through other lands. God did not want to overthrow those nations. Thus, before Israel passed through these lands, they sent messengers to tell of their coming. They did not want conflict, only peace. Surely a peaceful passage would be no problem.
March 2, 2023
Deuteronomy 2:28 – Thou shalt sell me meat for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only I will pass through on my feet.
Thought: When Israel passed through Sihon’s land, the Israelites wanted nothing for free. They would pay for both food and water. If Sihon played his cards right, this could have been a very profitable business venture. The number of Israelites was well over a million people. Again, Israel only wanted a peaceful passage through the king’s land. They did not want strife or warfare. Can anyone imagine the leader of a nation turning down peace and profits? As a wise leader, surely Sihon would agree.
March 3, 2023
Deuteronomy 2:29 – (As the children of Esau which dwell in Seir, and the Moabites which dwell in Ar, did unto me); until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which the Lord our God giveth us.
Thought: Moses informed Sihon that the Edomites and the Moabites had accepted his offer and allowed Israel to pass peaceably through their lands. The example of others often inspires an individual to follow in their steps. Too, these examples proved that Moses and the Israelites were trustworthy. They would honor their commitment to pay for their water and food. And, they would not destroy the kingdom of Sihon. This should have been a great incentive for Sihon to allow passage.
March 4, 2023
Deuteronomy 2:30 – But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand as appeareth this day.
Thought: This verse reveals that God “hardened” Sihon’s spirit, “and made his heart obstinate.” When we read about God’s doing of these things, we often believe that God does them directly and instantaneously to the individual’s heart. Too, we have a tendency to believe that God does this contrary to the free moral agency of the individual. Not so. Sihon was an enemy of God’s people. His heart was already hardened against them. Moses’ request is what hardened it that much more.
March 5, 2023
Deuteronomy 2:31 – And the Lord said unto me, Behold I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit the land.
Thought: When Sihon refused Israel passage through his land, he set himself at odds with both Israel and God. Surely, Sihon had heard what God had done to the Egyptians. Yet, he convinced himself that he could defeat Israel and her God. Men who fight against God do not win. Sihon was not going to win. God told Moses: “Behold I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee.” When men oppose God, they will not win. At times, they might appear to win, but the battle belongs to the Lord.
March 6, 2023
Deuteronomy 2:32 – Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.
Thought: Children of God are shocked by the boldness of God’s enemies. They mock God and demean God. The refuse God’s instructions. They even manifest courage enough to do battle against Him. These individuals, like Sihon, deceive themselves into believing that they are more powerful than God. They know others have been defeated, but they believe that they are different. They honestly think that their power and might can overcome God. Self-deception is a dangerous thing.
March 7, 2023
Deuteronomy 2:33, 34 – And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain.
Thought: When God fights for His people, He utterly defeats the enemy. Listen to some of the words in these two verses: “all his people,” “all his cities,” “utterly destroyed,” “of every city,” and “left none to remain.” Sihon was completely overcome by Israel. His bold defiance left his nation in ruins. It also left him in shame as a king. God is not a power to take lightly. He fights to win. Some may believe that Satan has the upper hand in the battle against God. One day, he, too, will be utterly destroyed.
March 8, 2023
Deuteronomy 2:35 – Only the cattle we took for a prey, and the spoil of the cities which we took.
Thought: When a person defeats his enemy, the rewards of the battle are called “the spoils.” The spoils of battle help to enrich the conquering nation. Israel defeated Sihon and took the cattle and the spoils of the cities. The spoils of battle is often what motivates an army to fight with all their might until the very end. Fortunately for Israel, this will not be their last victory. This is only promise of more to come. They would not only come to possess cattle and cities. They would possess kingdoms.
March 9, 2023
Deuteronomy 2:36 – From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the Lord our God delivered all unto us.
Thought: God’s enemies have many resources. Their armed forces enlist many personnel. Their weaponry is state of the art. They have stockpiles of ammunition. Their defenses are fortified against powerful attacks. Yet, Moses writes: “There was not one city too strong for us.” Think about the words, “not one.” When God fights for His people, there is “not one” who can stand against him and prevail. Moses emphasized that thought, saying: “The Lord our God delivered all unto us.”
March 10, 2023
Deuteronomy 2:37 – Only unto the land of he children of Ammon thou camest not, nor any place on the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the Lord our God forbade us.
Thought: There are two important points to make about this verse. First, prior to reaching the Promised Land, Israel was not in conquering mode. They simply needed the freedom to pass through some land to reach their destination. There were many places that Israel left alone. Second, God was in charge of this mission. If the Lord forbade Israel from taking a piece of land or a city, Israel obeyed. Many times men think they are free to act on their own. This is not the case if God is in charge.
March 11, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:1 – Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.
Thought: God’s people will not have to fight just one time. Oh no! They will have to fight over and over again. The reason is because they have many enemies. These enemies will fight for what is their’s. They are not afraid. They do not grow weary. In like manner, God’s people cannot be afraid nor can they grow weary. They must fight. The difference between the enemy and God’s people is that God will fight for His people. If God’s children will trust and obey, they will always be victorious.
March 12, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:2 – And the Lord said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.
Thought: The Lord promises Moses again, saying: “Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land into thy hand.” Now, it was up to Moses and Israel to trust in God. It should be easy for God’s people to trust in God’s promises. The reason is because God has fulfilled His promises to them in the past. God told Moses regarding Og: “Thou shalt to unto him as thou didst unto Sihon.” If God fulfills His promise once, He will do so again. We serve a faithful God who cannot lie.
March 13, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:3 – So the Lord our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining.
Thought: God promised Israel that He would fight for them and deliver Og and into their hands. God’s promise, as do all of God’s promises, came true. The defeat of Og was complete. Moses writes: “…we smote him until none was left to him remaining.” God will one day defeat His most fierce enemy, Satan, just as he defeated Og of Bashan. He will defeat him and all of his people fully and completely. It will be glorious day for God’s people. It will be a day of humiliation for the evil one.
March 14, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:4, 5 – And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.
Thought: Israel received more than just victory over her enemies when God fought for her. She received the riches of the spoil. When she overcame Og of Bashan, she received sixty cities that were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars. In addition, she was given “unwalled towns a great many.” Having these possessions saved Israel much time, energy, and expense. Too, each of these cities was filled with riches and resources that Israel would need to develop into an established kingdom.
March 15, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:6, 7 – And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city. But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to ourselves.
Thought: One of the reoccurring themes of the past several verses is this: defeat and reward. Every time the enemy is defeated, God’s children are rewarded with the spoils of battle. The same can be said about the present spiritual battle that we are fighting with Satan. Those who will stand with God to overcome the evil one will be rewarded with the spoils of battle. A good conscience, spiritual strength and well-being, and the good pleasure of God are some of those spoils. Yes, with defeat comes reward.
March 16, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:8 – And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon unto mount Hermon.
Thought: God had plans for Israel. God manifested those plans in the form of promises to both Moses and the Hebrews. Part of that plan involved a land in which His people would live. However, in order for Israel to dwell therein, the inhabitants had to be driven out. Sihon and Og were the first casualties. Their land was what some call the Trans-Jordan. It was on the eastern side of the winding Jordan River. It stretched “from the river of Arnon unto mount Hermon.” It was a rich, luscious land.
March 17, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:9 – (Which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir).
Thought: Why did Moses insert small, seemingly insignificant, details into the book of Deuteronomy? Perhaps we need to remember that Moses was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Adding details to the Biblical text would help to confirm the Bible’s inspiration. Mount Hermon was given different names by different groups of people. If these facts were ever proven to be wrong, the Bible’s inspiration would be called into question. Verification, however, confirms inspiration.
2 Peter 1:20-21
March 18, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:10 – All the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
Thought: The use of the word “all” in the first ten verses of this chapter is notable. It is used by the Holy Spirit six times. The army of Israel destroyed “all” of Ogs people and took “all” of the cities and spoils of the nation. Nothing remained in the hands of this king of the Amorites. It would have been interesting to speak to Og after his defeat. Would he admit that he made a grave mistake? Perhaps not. Enemies of God are not quick to admit their errors. Stubbornness doesn’t guarantee victory.
March 19, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:11 – For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth thereof, after the cubit of a man.
Thought: At one time, the giants were prominent in the land of Canaan. Og, however, represented a line that was about to go into extinction. Moses describes the stature of this king by giving the dimensions of his bed, nine cubits in length (13-1/2 feet) and four cubits wide (6 feet). Og was truly a giant of a man, especially to Jews who are usually smaller in stature. Og’s size and strength, however, could not prevail against the great and mighty God of Israel. Only his bed remained.
March 20, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:12, 13 – And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites. And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.
Thought: Once Sihon and Og were defeated, Israel possessed a large portion of land on the east side of the Jordan River, also known as the Transjordan region. Two and half tribes received this land for an inheritance. When these tribes first requested this land, it caused quite a stir. Moses and the other tribes thought these individuals were trying to get out of fighting against the Canaanite tribes. The lesson is simple. When one forsakes his responsibility, it angers others who depend on him.
March 21, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:14, 15 – Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi; and called them after his own name, Bashan-havoth-jair, unto this day. And I gave Gilead unto Machir.
Thought: Manasseh was Joseph’s firstborn son. His mother’s name was Asenath. He was born in Egypt. Manasseh’s two sons, Jair and Machir received certain portions of land for themselves. Every Jewish family eventually received an allotment of land. Sometimes, certain individuals are singled out in the Biblical text, and we are told about their inheritance. Perhaps these were well-known individuals in Israel. They may have played important roles in helping to conquer the land of Canaan.
March 22, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:16, 17 – And unto the Reubenites and unto the Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon, half the valley, and the border even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon; the plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth even unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, under Ashdoth-pisgah eastward.
Thought: The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh received their inheritance after overcoming only two enemies, Sihon and Og. The land was perfect for the production of flocks and herds. However, there was a danger in their receiving their inheritance early. Would they cross the Jordan and fight against the enemy on behalf of the other tribes? People can be selfish. They often put their own welfare ahead of others. Their prosperity comes at another’s expense. Selfishness is an evil.
March 23, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:18, 19 – And I commanded you at that time, saying, the Lord your God hath given you this land to possess it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all that are meet for war. But your wives, and your little ones, and your cattle, (for I know that ye have much cattle, ) shall abide in your cities which I have given you.
Thought: An early blessing did not exempt Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh from crossing the Jordan and fighting against the tribes of Canaan. Moses knew that some people do not want to accept responsibility. Oh yes, they want to enjoy the blessings, but they do not want the duty they comes with privileges. Some do not mind others bearing the burden while they reap the rewards. Moses would protect the families and cattle of the two and half tribes, but he expected them to fight.
March 24, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:20 – Until the Lord have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the Lord your God hath give them beyond Jordon: and then shall ye return every man unto his possession, which I have given you.
Thought: Duty ends when the full mission is accomplished. Rueben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh would eventually enjoy their inheritance. Before this could occur, there was a battle to be fought. They was a land that had to be conquered. This portion of the land did not belong to them. It did, however, belong to their brethren. Their brethren helped them to secure their land. Now, it was time to assist their brethren in taking their inheritance. Blessings are enjoy after victory, and not before.
March 25, 2023
Deuteronomy 3:21 – And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the Lord do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest.
Thought: Here, Moses tells Joshua two things about God. First, God has defeated the enemies of the Israelites in the past. Second, God promises to do the same for Joshua in the future. When God makes a promise, all an individual can do is embrace the promise by faith. However, that faith is not a blind faith. A person can fully trust God’s promises today because of what He has done in the past. Joshua knew that God would fight for him. How did he know? Because God had fought for Israel in the past.
2 Corinthians 1:20