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What does it mean that God fights our battles?

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." —Psalm 20:7

Many moons ago, God fought what seemed an impossible battle for the cowering descendants of Israel who had been enslaved in Egypt. They didn't think He could—or would— save them, but Moses rested in the assurance of God's promise that they would be safe. Today, we often doubt God can handle—or will choose to handle—the impossible battles we face. But as the Israelites found out, when we doubt God's sovereignty, we deal ourselves unnecessary critical damage.

Let me set the stage for you. The Israelites were running from Pharaoh and his Egyptian army, fleeing slavery and oppression, heading toward the land of "milk and honey" that God had promised to their ancestors (Exodus 13:5). All the while, God was with them, leading their way as a pillar of clouds by day and lighting the path as a pillar of fire at night (Exodus 13:21-22). The Israelites soon found themselves backed up against the seemingly impossible barrier of the Red Sea, now with Pharaoh and his soldiers bearing down on them in the distance. And they whined to Moses, "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt?" (Exodus 14:10-11).

Moses was patient, turning to assure them, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent" (Exodus 14:13-14). I kind of like to think this was Moses' diplomatic way of saying, "You're fine. Stop whining."

The Israelites saw this as an inescapable battle that would end in death. The Egyptian army was 100% certain they had those runaway slaves cornered. But in reality, this battle was not between slaves and masters, but between the Egyptians and the Lord (Exodus 14:4).

God was not surprised by this situation. In fact, He was the one who had hardened Pharaoh's heart against his fleeing slaves (Exodus 14:4, 8). Why? Because He had lessons to teach. Pharaoh and the Egyptians needed to realize that the One True God ultimately deserved and would receive all the glory (Exodus 14:4). The Israelites needed to understand that the One True God was indeed their Deliverer (Exodus 6:6) and their Salvation (Exodus 14:13). (Note: They had a hard time getting this into their heads over the generations and paid dearly for their doubt. See the rest of Exodus and practically all of Deuteronomy.)

No Need to Panic

When we face seemingly impossible battles or see no way around conflicts, we often resort to the same knee-jerk reactions the Israelites did—panic, fear, and hopelessness (Exodus 14:11-12). We may doubt God will come to our rescue, just as the Israelites may have never imagined the Red Sea would rise on either side of them to make way for their escape (Exodus 14:21-22)—even though Moses said God would fight for them.

We have the Bible to tell us of God's character as Deliverer and Savior. The Lord assured Moses' successor, Joshua, that "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you" (Joshua 1:5). The Lord assured His followers the day before a great battle: "'You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.' Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you" (2 Chronicles 20:17). The army went out, some singing, "Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever," and God send an ambush that wiped out their enemies (2 Chronicles 20:21-24).

God's Got Your Back

Psalm 27:14 says to "wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" Philippians 4:19 reminds us that "God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Proverbs 21:31 says, "Victory rests with the LORD." Go read Romans 8 for even more assurances that God will be there for you when you face those impossible battles.

"...we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." —Romans 8:28

Beautiful Battle Scars

Yes, God's got your back, but that doesn't mean you'll never step into the fight zone. In fact, the Bible tells us that if we choose to live a godly life, there WILL be battles to fight (2 Timothy 3:12). We can put on the Armor of God to protect us (Ephesians 6:10–17) and trust our Deliverer (Romans 8:35-39), and we may still come away with wounds. But be assured that no matter the outcome, God is in complete control and will produce good things in our lives as a result of the battles we face (Romans 8:28).

"...we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope..." —Romans 5:3-4

TL;DR

When we face seemingly impossible battles, we often resort to the same responses the Israelites did—panic, fear, and hopelessness (Exodus 14:11-12). But the Bible tells us over and over that God is our Deliverer and Savior who loves us and takes care of us (1 John 4:16; Philippians 4:19). Be assured that no matter the outcome, God is in complete control and will produce good things as a result of the battles we face (Romans 5:3-4; Romans 8:28).

By: Catiana Nak Kheiyn

Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.

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