“I Am Not Among You”
“And the LORD said unto me, Say unto them? Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.”
Although God, by the mouth of Moses, forbade (religious, earthly) Israel to go up against, or engage in battle with the Amorites, they “went presumptously up into the hill” anyway and were destroyed in “Seir even unto Hormah.”
Those that were not immedietely destroyed “returned and wept before the LORD, but the LORD would not hearken to their voice, nor give ear unto them.” (Deuteronomy 1:45)
The reason for their severe judgment and defeat was threefold; they disobeyed God in unbelief; they trusted in themselves; and this was a work ordained for Joshua in a time appointed by God. “Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither.: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel (spiritual Israel) to inherit it.” (Deuteronomy 1:38)
God had clearly told them “I am not among you” to do this.
There is a vital gospel lesson to be learned here. It is our Joshua (Jesus Christ) that has and will successfully conquer every enemy, and bring those chosen onew who have no sin (because of His redemptive work) to their promised abode in that day – “They shall go on thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.” (Deuteronomy 1:39)
In all the Bible, God’s command to His people is to “stand still and see the salvation of the LORD.” The LORD God is not with those who go presumptuously up into the hill.
God’s judgment is always the same for those who presume that salvation is in some way according to their own will and efforts.
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
God will never be savingly found among the arminian, free will, works religionist, or the legalistic, calvinistic intellectuals. The element of prideful self-righteous supremacy over the humbling work of Christ in sovereign redemption reveals the absense of His presence and blessing. May God help us to; “Go not up, neither fight.”