Deuteronomy 2:26-30 (JDV)
Deuteronomy 2:26 “So I sent messengers with an offer of peace to King Sihon of Heshbon from the open country of Kedemoth, and this is what they said:
Deuteronomy 2:27 ‘Let us travel through your land; we will keep strictly to the highway. We will not turn to the right or the left.
Deuteronomy 2:28 You can sell us food in exchange for silver so we may eat, and give us water for silver so we may drink. Only let us travel through on foot,
Deuteronomy 2:29 just like the descendants of Esau who live in Seir did for us, and the Moabites who live in Ar, until we cross the Jordan into the land Yahveh our God is giving us.’
Deuteronomy 2:30 But King Sihon of Heshbon would not let us travel through his land, because Yahveh your God had made his breath1 stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to hand him over to you, as has now taken place.
evidence of enmity
The Israelites had learned from God that Sihon was going to be their enemy, but that did not imply that they should go immediately onto the offensive. No, they appealed to Sihon to treat them just like the Edomites and Moabites did. They waited for Sihon to demonstrate his animosity.
I have been relating these stories to the question of how Christians should live their lives today. I suggested yesterday that we have three categories: disciples, friends and enemies. It is not always easy to know who is an enemy of the gospel, and who is just an unbeliever who has not yet been convinced. In this case, the Israelites treated the king of the Amorites as if he were a friend until the king made that impossible.
This incident serves to illustrate a helpful principle for us. We should show the same love and trust to everyone until we see evidence that they are going to oppose us.
Lord, we trust you to guide us in our relationship with others. Give us patience to wait until the evidence proves who our enemies are.