Thursday, June 6, 2019

Problems with Giants

"They were a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. The LORD destroyed them from before the Ammonites, who drove them out and settled in their place" (Deuteronomy 2:21).

After God created Adam and announced the covenant with him, Adam fell into sin and rebelled. In this and each subsequent instance, we see God renewing His covenant to a redeemed people. Each time those people again fell into sin. We read about the Noahic covenant in Genesis 9, and the next event described is the sin of Ham. God made a covenant with Abraham, promising him a son, and immediately Abraham fell into sin by lying with Hagar. No sooner had God made a covenant with Israel at Mt. Sinai than they fell into sin at the golden calf. The very day God instituted the priestly covenant with Aaron, his sons sinned and were destroyed (Leviticus 9–10). God made a covenant with David that David’s house would be His home, and the next thing seen was David defiling his house (and thus God’s house) by committing adultery and murder (2 Samuel 7, 11).

A new covenant and then a new fall into sin—that is the sorry pattern human depravity shows in history. In Deuteronomy 1–4, Moses rehearses the history of Israel from Mt. Sinai forward, and he shows that they fell into sin and lost the kingdom because they did not fear the Lord. As a result, they were not permitted to enter the Promised Land.

Moses recounted the events recorded in the book of Numbers. After the fall into sin at the golden calf, God reinstituted His covenant with the people. He led them to the borders of Canaan, and then the people refused to conquer the land. There were giants in the land which they feared more than God (Deuteronomy 1:26–46).

Moses contrasted Israel with her cousins. The Moabites, descendants of Lot, took land from the Emites, who were giants like the Anakites and the Rephaites (2:9–11). The Edomites, descendants of Esau, did similarly (2:12). The Ammonites, also descendants of Lot, took their land from the giant Zamzummites (2:20–23).

At the end of the wilderness wanderings, God brought Israel face to face with Og of Bashan, whose bed was 13 feet long (3:1–11). The defeat of such giants gave Israel her first piece of the Promised Land (3:12–20).

How did King Saul fare against the giant? How did David (1 Samuel 17)? Here we see again the pattern mentioned in the last paragraph of today’s lesson. Who was the “giant” that Jesus had to conquer first (Matthew 4)? What giants do you face in your life? Don’t fear them and flee from them, but face them in the fear of God.