This chapter, Deuteronomy 20, opens with Moses’ encouragement to the Israelites to not fear. Fear is a God given powerful and natural emotion that is a part of our survival mechanism. However, God did not create us to be governed by fear. He created us to live trusting Him. Here, Moses calls the people to trust God in the most life-threatening circumstance where survival mechanisms will kick in and fear can reign supreme – the battlefield. Moses tells the Israelites that the Lord will be with them and will lead them to victory.
After the conquest of the Promised Land, the Israelites were never called to go to battle to claim any territory. The Israelites were then called to tell the nations about the wonderful things God has done for them (Psalm 96:3, Psalm 96:10).
With the Messiah's coming, we who follow Jesus are called to be in the frontline of obedience to Matthew 28:18-20. There Jesus asked us to go into all the world with the Good News that God saves! He also promises us that He will be with us. Often when we step out to share God's love with someone else or to give to help someone or even to our Church, fear may consume us. At those times remember Deuteronomy 20:3, 4. Do not be terrified. . . the Lord is the One who goes before you to give you victory.