Deuteronomy 2:25 “This very day I will begin to put the terror and fear of you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you” (NIV).

Observation: Forty years of desert wandering had come to an end. It was time for the Hebrews to take the land God had intended for them. In point of fact, God began to specifically set up circumstances to hearten His people. For example, God says that He sent messengers to the king of Heshbon offering peace if the king would allow the Israelites to simply pass through his land, staying always on the main road and paying cash for any needed food or water (see Deut. 2:28). Then in verse 30, God said He made obstinate the king’s heart and made his spirit stubborn “in order to give him into your hands.”

Application: What a delightful, encouraging picture this passage paints! Has anyone yet seen a cat pounce on four-footed prey for an outright kill? Instead, isn’t there always a season of play (from the cat’s perspective) and terror (from the mouse’s)? The cat is dominant enough to have killed outright. For its part, the mouse never puts up much of a fight. As though knowing its destiny, the mouse cowers in paralyzing fear rather than rearing on hopelessly scrawny hind legs, scrapping for a fight. The cat seems to well understand that the timing of the kill is its to choose. As well, the cat determines the place; aren’t these conquests invariably dragged onto our front steps, innards left as evidence of yet another one-sided fight?

Does this seem a fair analogy for today’s Scripture? Dare I think of God as playfully, cunningly drawing His enemies to destruction? While that may seem a jarring thought, I should give even closer attention to the analogy’s breakdown in one aspect of a mouse representing God’s enemies. I must realize that the mouse has no choice in its destiny. It was made for destruction; time and place are the only open questions. Enemies of God, though, occupy that place by their own choosing. Always. The heart that has rejected His every overture of love has set itself firmly upon the mouse’s path.

To spurn correction, to turn away from the faithful wooing of God is to leave myself utterly bereft of the help God longs to provide. Heaven’s arsenal remains locked and unavailable, leaving me to struggle against powers and principalities of far greater capabilities than my mouselike resources. God desires to move heaven and earth to win me, if I will but yield.

Prayer: Father, You are the God of infinite power and wisdom. Your resources are sufficient to conform me to the image of Christ if I will but yield my prideful heart. Have Your way with me, Lord.