Dealing with Shock and Awe
By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
When the United States first attacked Iraq a number of years ago, they used the term “shock and awe” to describe the first waves of bombings that took place that day on Baghdad and other locations. For those who watched the coverage, you easily understood why the term was used as the military power that was being directed at Iraq was overwhelming. If you agreed with the war or not, you could see that the powerful weaponry that was being used was causing overwhelming destruction as well as something that would cause a significant mental impact on the Iraqi people.
In my morning reading today, I read the following verse about how God said to deal with the shock and awe of those who may want to be at war with you. In Deuteronomy 20:1 it states, “When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.”
There are several things to take away from this scripture.
First, there are those that want to war with you. Sadly, this happens in our world. Sometimes the shock of those battles is because it is coming from people we thought were friends, from family members, or people we don’t even know. But the battles do happen. Second, when you see their weapons and even their numbers, it can be intimidating and frightening from a human perspective. Third and most importantly, God will be with you through the battles of life and dependence on Him leads to victories.
Just a few verses later God instructs them that when they have drawn the battle lines to first offer a peace treaty to those they are about to face. In other words, avoid the battle if you and the other party are willing. Either way, God will walk with you.
The final point is the why you should trust God. He reminds us where we have come from. He had delivered the Israelites from slavery. He had performed many miracles along the way. He reminds us also where we used to be without Jesus as a way to say, “I can handle what is coming at you no matter how much it shocks you.”
As we grow spiritually together as a conference facing a world that is increasingly turning away from God, let us face the challenges of doing God’s will with courage knowing that God will take us through and help each of us to be totally involved in doing God’s will.