Have you ever thought that God was working against you? Sometimes it seems the harder you try to do what you think He’s asking you to do, the more adversity you face.
The Israelites found themselves in this very situation. Moses sent people ahead of the Israelites with a proposal of peace to the King of Sihon. All they wanted was to peacefully pass through the king’s land.
Deuteronomy 2:30 tells us the story,“But King Sihon of Heshbon refused to allow us to pass through, because the Lord your God made Sihon stubborn and defiant so he could help you defeat him, as he has now done.”
The first part of this verse is so discouraging! It specifically says the Lord made the king stubborn and defiant. Why? Isn’t that the very cry of our hearts? Why did this happen? Why, when I’m following your instructions are you working against me?
His gracious response is in the second half of the verse is, “so he could help you defeat him, as he has now done.” It’s easy to simply question why rather than consider God’s plan to include blocking your way. For Israel, it was blocking their passage through the land. Maybe for you it’s blocking your way to financial freedom, you lost a job or came into some unexpected bills? Whatever it is, take heart! When you think God has abandoned and forgotten you, made your life seemingly hard, maybe He’s lining things up for you; to give you victory in your situation.
The rest of the chapter two tells us of the victory the Israelites had over The King of Sihon. Not only were they allowed passage, but they completely annihilated all the towns and people. They plundered livestock and anything of value.
The Israelite army was not intimidating by worldly standards, but time and time again they were victorious when the Lord fought for them. But, they had to be at a place where they allowed the Lord to fight for them. Sometimes that included God hardening the hearts of kings and pharaohs.
I don’t know what you are facing today. I know in my life there have been times when it felt like God had abandoned me, when His ways made no sense and all conclusive evidence pointed towards Him working against me rather than for me. In those quiet moments, it takes trust and faith. Faith that God always has our best in mind. His ways are higher than ours.
God, thank You that Your ways are the best. Even when we feel like You might be working against us, may we keep our focus on the promises of Your Word that tells us that You work all things for good. Give us the strength to trust in Your promises even in the hard times. Amen.