After leaving Egypt, the Israelites journeyed to Mount Sinai, the place where they were given the Ten Commandments. They remained there for a year before their journey began again. In Numbers Chapter 1, God instructs Moses to take a census.
“From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their clans and families. List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war. You and Aaron must register the troops.” (Numbers 1: 2-3 NLT).
God has Moses & Aaron count all the men, all those eligible to go to war. This was a group of people, who for years had been slaves in Egypt, doing crushing labor. I cannot help but wonder just what they would know about war. Yet God not only counts them, He has Moses divide them by their clans & families. He gives them further instruction on the formation they are to take as they break camp & move on. As I have continued to read on into the book of Numbers, I have realized that they do, in fact, meet formidable opposition as they traveled.
I have been struck with the wisdom of God. He knew what lie ahead. He took a people that were untrained & made warriors out of them. As they followed & heeded God, they met with victory as they took on their enemies. Only when rebellious, did they meet with defeat.
We, too, face a formidable foe:
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT).
God has also provided a way for us to protect & defend ourselves:
“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (verses 14-17 NLT).
Paul used the imagery of Roman soldiers to demonstrate to believers how we are to be equipped. The equipment that God provides is more for protection than for attack. When we ground ourselves in God’s Word, we find that we have the ability to win in the midst of the battle.
We all recognize this:
Even athletes dress to fight & win a sports tournament. The sports line, Under Armour, states with their logo, “Performance Apparel”. It is touted as tactical gear for top performance. Why then should we not dress ourselves, spiritually, for top performance in the heat of the battle?
“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” (verse 13 NLT).
God not only gives us the means by which we protect ourselves, but the means by which we remain standing.
May we remember to use that which God has given to us. Each & every day.
God takes the untrained & somehow transforms us into warriors.
Each day. Every day.