Have You Thanked God Lately?
In Numbers chapter 31, we come to the account of Israel’s war with Midian. It was God, who in verses 1 and 2, commanded the children of Israel to take vengeance upon the Midianites.
"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people."
The battle would be fought by 12,000 men of war according to Moses’ command in verses 3-6. The Bible records for us in verse number 7 that “they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses…” As we read down through the chapter we are told of the great victory that was wrought by the children of Israel. Truly the victory was wrought in obedience before one sword had clashed on the battle field. This same truth is on display for us in 1 John 5:4 which states:
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
As we come to the New Testament we have a similar call to the battlefield. The Christian is in the midst of a raging war. We are Christian Soldiers representing the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6: 12-13
This war, like the former, has already been won by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but each battle is fought under the banner of our faith and obedience to the Lord. As the children of Israel were obedient to the Lord and set out in faith, the victory was assured. Even so, let us look at an even more intriguing part of this passage. In verses number 48 and 49 of that same passage we are told about something unique the takes place. Notice what the Bible says:
“And the officers which were over thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses: And they said unto Moses, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us.”
What an amazing victory! Imagine for a moment, a war waged not like today by buttons and bombs, but by swords and staves. Imagine 12,000 armed men fighting head to head against other men; steel clashing against steel. Even the weakest enemy you would suppose would get lucky and cause a casualty to the other side, but not this battle! The officers take count, no doubt because the battle was spread far and wide. They line the groups up: the captains of thousands, the captains of hundreds, and the captains of fifties. Immediately they are convicted in their hearts. Why are they convicted? What they find is nothing short of the miraculous. Not one man of war has been lost! Amazing! Think about it for a moment, a large-scale battle against a fierce enemy and not one casualty on the winning side. So, what do they do about it? Again, notice what the Bible says,
“We have therefore brought an oblation for the LORD, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the LORD.”
They brought before the LORD the sacrifice of thanksgiving and an offering because of their sinfulness. They realized that God had kept every one of them. It is interesting to note that God will keep all those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior and deliver them to an expected end as well.
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." John 10: 28-29
You and I should realize that it is God that is keeping us even in the midst of the battle. This however, should drive us to do as these captains of the host; we should offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving and tell our Heavenly Father how unworthy we are of His graciousness. Too often we get up from the battlefield, dust ourselves off, God having wrought a great victory, and immediately continue on to the next battle. Instead, we should be bending our knee and giving God praise and honour and glory for what He has done. When is the last time you thanked the Lord for giving you the victory? Perhaps you know someone who is gone astray but has a testimony of Jesus Christ as their Savior; you can thank God as well for keeping them unto the end. Let us spend some time today thanking God for the victory we have in Jesus Christ!
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57
Pastor James - Community Outreach Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
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Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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