Deuteronomy 2:1-5 (JDV)
Deuteronomy 2:1 “Then we turned back and headed for the open country by way of the Red Sea, as Yahveh had told me, and we traveled around the hill country of Seir for many days.
Deuteronomy 2:2 Yahveh then spoke to me, and this is what he said:
Deuteronomy 2:3 ‘You’ve been traveling around this hill country long enough; turn north.
Deuteronomy 2:4 Command the people, and this is what you should say: You are about to travel through the territory of your brothers, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They will be afraid of you, so be very careful.
Deuteronomy 2:5 Don’t provoke them, because I will not give you any of their land, not even a foot-width1 of it, because I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his possession.
not even a foot-width
Many would have been tempted to attack the Edomites who lived in Seir. The Israelites probably outnumbered them, and the Edomites were already aware that they were out there somewhere, and were afraid of them. But God expressly prohibited any action against them. He called them brothers to the Israelites because they descended from Esau. Most importantly, he prohibited any hostility because he had not chosen to give the Israelites their land.
It is unwise for a disciple of Christ to get involved in a conquest that Christ himself has not sanctioned. He is the commander. It is not the task of underlings to orchestrate the battle. We go where he has sent us. If we get involved where he has not sent us, we can expect defeat. The only territory we can expect to inherit is what he has chosen to give us.
Lord, give us wisdom to know which battles to fight, and which to avoid, because they do not concern you.