Happy and blessed are you, O Israel;
Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord,
The Shield of your help,
And the Sword of your majesty!
Your enemies will cringe before you,
And you will tread on their high places
[tramping down their idolatrous altars].
These are the last words spoken by Moses in the Bible. And as I contemplated them, I saw such a glorious picture of Jesus! Although Moses is directing his monologue to the Israelites, we are the seed of Abraham, and his words apply to us, too.
He is telling us that we, who are saved by the Lord -- saved from the wrath of God, and delivered from captivity of the Enemy -- are Happy and Blessed. These last words are spoken by a man who was a mirror of the Lord to come; a man who had saved the Israelites from the wrath of God when they rebelled and worshipped the golden calf; a man who had delivered them from the bonds of slavery and captivity in Egypt; a man who stood at the entrance to the Promised Land and knew all that the Lord would do for His people in the future.
And Moses gave us such an encouraging image of who that Lord was, is, and will be ... He gives us a picture of the Lord as our Shield and our Sword. I hope that you see this as part of our spiritual armor that Paul cautions us to put on in Ephesians 6. Moses tell us Jesus is the Shield of our help, and that help comes by way of our Faith; which is our trust and confidence in Jesus as our Savior, and the Faithfulness of our Lord to "quench the fiery darts of the Enemy [the wicked]".
You can imagine the scene ... the tribes of Israel are poised to enter the Promised Land, and I'm pretty sure that they still remembered the words of the spies that accompanied Joshua and Caleb ("we are as like grasshoppers to them"); you can understand that more than a few of them would have been frightened and scared to take this step. But in the verses just prior to this one, Moses assures them that the eternal God is their refuge, and underneath (girding everything) are His everlasting arms.
It is the same for us today. Jesus never leaves us nor forsakes us, and we have His almighty power to trust in, and to dwell in, for our safety. He is our defensive shield that protects us from the assaults of Satan and his forces of wickedness. But note that He is also our offensive weapon. He is our Sword, and by the Word, we will defeat the Enemy! He is in the Word, and the Word is the strongest weapon we have in our spiritual warfare. When we say it out loud, it is effectively, Jesus fighting for us! And when the Word comes forth from our mouths, it is an expression of Him dwelling in us, and all the forces of evil will cringe at the spoken Word.
Jesus becomes our Shield and our Sword in our battle against the strongholds of our lives. We, too, wait to enter the Promised Land, and Satan loves nothing more than to whisper the lies that he whispered to those frightened spies in ancient times .... your enemy is too big for you to defeat; don't trust in your God to deliver you and save you. Stay here and be satisfied with what I am offering.
Instead, Moses offers the hope that we can tread on those false altars; those strongholds that Satan has us holding on to, but in reality have a hold on us. Because of the weapons of Faith (our Shield) and the Word (our Sword), we can trample those altars and beat them into dust at our feet. How glorious for Moses to have seen that reality ... that we would be able to crush and stomp and grind the Enemy into submission under our feet! No one else has that power over Satan except those who are saved by the Lord! Who is like us? No one! Blessed and Happy, indeed!
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