For 400 years, Jacob’s descendants had served Egypt’s pharaohs. Oppressed and bent beneath the burden of brick baking, they cried out to God; He sent Moses to lead them out of bondage and into a land of their own. Along with Aaron his brother, Moses was instructed to “Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies” (Exodus 6:26). Repeatedly, God made this reference. While some bible translations use the definition “hosts” for the Hebrew word tsaba’, its primary definition, “that which goes forth, army, war, warfare, host” weighs heavily with military connotation. Therefore, when God said, “But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay My hand upon Egypt and bring forth Mine armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments,” in Exodus 7, we can assume God envisioned a group of warriors among the Hebrews. Men who had the potential to “aim high.” But, like we students, the majority failed to rise to that potential.
Israel needed to see themselves as an army, capable of taking the land that God was guiding them to. Their promise was assured--after all, it was a promise God Himself made--but their promise was to be possessed through battle. Along with the guarantee that God would lead them out of Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey was the inclusion of these words: “And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:17). Their promise was occupied by the enemy. As a God-equipped army, however, they were more than able to take what God had given them.
Sadly, even after being “forged in the (Red Sea,)” when they made their way to the edge of their territory, they failed to grasp the identity they’d been given. Numbers 13: 33 records their self-assessment, “we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” Only Joshua and Caleb signed up for God’s recruit. The rest of Israel succumbed to the mindset of less-than, the slavery mentality that was a comfortable fit based on their familiar past.
Similar to Israel, we have been given spiritual territory. It is ours. We have chapter and verse to prove it. But the promises can’t be claimed without first dispelling the occupying adversaries. For example, 2 Timothy 1:17 declares, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Power, love, and a sound mind are our promises, but enemies like fear, anxiety, and doubt can be in residence. To dispel the enemy, we must embrace the God-identity that that says we “always…triumph in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14) and believe our weaponry is “mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds…” (2 Corinthians 10:4)
We have been given an Egypt exit, and we are equipped to inherit. Natural tendencies may urge us to live according to pre-conditions that are comfortable, but we can tune our ears to the cadence of God’s voice that says we can have more, that we can be more. We have been “forged in the sea,” with our sins thrown into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). We are the “few, the proud,” the chosen few among the many called (Matthew 22:14). We “aim high,” reaching for the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). We are “army strong,” as “terrible as an army with banners” (Song of Solomon 6:10). Because Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” we can stand tall against our giants. We were “born ready.” We are military mighty. God says so.
Tip/Tidbit: Called out, given a promise, and equipped, you are chosen to be a powerful part of the army of the Lord, a force to be reckoned with.