Discussions regarding whether the United States should get involved in a battle against Syria have filled the airwaves recently. The politicians and pundits’ comments are all designed to enlist the public to jump on board on their side. Have you heard anyone ask the questions, “Whose side is God on?” “Are we on His side?” And, “Does it even matter if God is for or against us? It was clear in the Old Testament that if God was not on their side that the Israelites would be defeated. An example of this is found when the Israelites went into battle in rebellion to God’s command following the exploration of the Promised Land. Keep in mind that these were the same people who had just seen God work mighty miracles on their behalf with the ten plagues in Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea that delivered them from Pharaoh and his army.
After escaping from Egypt, God instructed Moses to select twelve men to explore the land of Canaan. They did so, and came back reporting that the land was ‘flowing with milk and honey’. Yet, ten of the twelve spies were so afraid of the people who occupied the land that they doubted God’s promise of sure victory. Instead of encouraging the people in God’s true word, they spread a bad report among the people, which the people chose to believe rather than God's word .
God then said because of their unbelief that they would spend the next forty years in the desert. God clearly demonstrated that He takes the sin of unbelief seriously by immediately sending a plague that killed the ten unbelieving spies.
You’d think the Israelites would have gotten the message: God means what He says! However, rather than humbling themselves and heeding God’s warning, the Israelites in their arrogance prepared for battle. Numbers 14:41-45 records a valuable lesson for all who presume to think that God is on their side when they walk in disobedience to His clear commands.
“But Moses said, ‘Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed! Do not go up, because the Lord is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the Lord, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.’ Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.”
What about you? Is there an area in your life where you are expecting victory even though you are walking in disobedience to God’s commands? If you are experiencing defeat in your life, have you asked yourself if God might be calling you to turn away from your sin and to trust in Him and His Word?
Do you think that the United States can expect God to be ‘on our side’ when we have forsaken Him and made a mockery of His commandments? Do you think God is on the side of a nation that legalizes the murder of millions of His children through abortion? A nation that through its airwaves glorifies fornication, adultery, divorce, greed, corruption and rampant materialism? A nation that recently has legalized homosexual marriages? A nation that in so many areas is calling that which God calls “good” evil, and that which He calls ‘evil’ good?
If we want to be on God’s side—which is always the ‘winning side’—we must repent of our arrogance and unbelief; turn to God with our whole heart; and submit to His authority. Then we will know that God is for us and not against us.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31b