Fight Fear: Focus on the Right Giant

The God Who Towers over Giants

The Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you, with his whole army and his land.” Numbers 21:34

The Israelites fought many battles during their forty-year wilderness journey. They had recently defeated the Amorites (Numbers 21:21–31). So why was Moses afraid to fight Og, king of Bashan, and his army?

Deuteronomy 3:11 gives a clue. There, Moses describes Og’s bed: “thirteen feet long and six feet wide, ”an indication of King Og’s size. He may have been related to the giants the Israelite spies had seen in Canaan many years previous—giants so huge that the Israelites seemed “as grasshoppers” before them (Numbers 13:33).

Those giants, the Scriptures say, were Nephilim, who may have been exceptionally large and violent men. Numbers 13:33 identifies them as “the descendants of Anak.” (Goliath of Gath, whom David defeated, also descended from Anak). [1]

After all Moses had been through—Pharaoh’s fury and the ten plagues, forty years of supervising two million complaining Israelites, and all the hardships of desert living—the battle with Og is the first time the Bible records that God told Moses, “Do not be afraid.”

Perhaps Moses was too focused on the previous generation’s failure at Kadesh-Barnea and their refusal to enter the land because of giants. Or maybe Moses was too focused on the upcoming conflict with the giant Og and his army. Either way, Moses’s focus had shifted from the omnipotent God who had commanded him to conquer Canaan to the human enemy he was supposed to defeat.

I often find myself in a similar situation. I allow past failures to fill me with fear. Or I permit fear to dangle a host of what-ifs in front of my eyes.

But, as Ephesians 6:11 says, God wants me to stand firm in the power of his might—not my puny strength. Giant-size problems are no match for God—if I turn them over to him. Neither are the thorn-size worries I sometimes allow to fester into raging infections.

What gigantic situation towers over you today? Are you focused on that giant, or are you focused on the omnipotent God who towers over the giant?

Dig Deeper

Compare the account of the battle with Og recorded in Numbers 21:32–35 with Moses’s review of the battle in Deuteronomy 3:1–11. What perspective did hindsight give Moses about the battle?

Read the story of David and Goliath’s battle in 1 Samuel 17:32–51. What gave David the courage to stand before his giant? Can you think of a time when God gave you the courage to attempt something difficult? How might that past experience help you face a new challenge?

Read Isaiah 43:1–7. What assurances does God give us in this passage? Which promise means the most to you at this point in your spiritual journey?

Denise K. Loock

This devotion is part of our Do Not Be Afraid series.


[1] Merrill F. Unger, “Giant,” The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Revised and Updated Edition (Chicago: Moody Press, 1988), 471. See also “Sons of God/Daughters of Men,” chapter 42 in Genesis: Volume 1 by James Montgomery Boice (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), 305–311.

Comments

  1. Just wrote a thank you for this powerful message, Denise! It would not go through ..So I will just say, “thank you “. Love and prayers, Lucy

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