Scripture Reading: Numbers 13:21-33
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.” (Nu. 13:1-2 NKJ)
The book “Art of War” has been traditionally ascribed to Sun Tzu who was a Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher. Sun Tzu is credited with the saying, “Know Your Enemy.” This military stratagem was practiced in Old Testament settings long before being popularized by Sun Tzu.
Both Abraham and Gideon exercised the military strategy of “knowing your enemy” in their surprise nighttime raids that confused the enemy, and with God’s help, defeated their enemies. They knew their enemies’ strengths and weaknesses; thus were not imperiled by the enemy forces.
Both Moses and Joshua sent in spies to get to “know the enemy.” Moses’ instructions to his spies were: “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.” (Nu. 13:17-20 NKJ)
Strangely enough, Jesus recommended the same strategy when he said, “Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?” (Luke 14:31 NKJ) Jesus is saying, KNOW YOUR ENEMY!
If knowing your enemy makes sense when facing physical battles, it makes even more sense when facing spiritual battles, especially when our enemy is stronger and the stakes are higher. As believers we face a powerful, devious, wily foe who doesn’t play by the rules. He is a sly, deceitful liar who will stoop to any means to win the battle of our minds.
The biblical writers spared no effort in giving us the tools necessary to win. The Apostle Paul gave us the armor of God as described in Ephesians 6:10-18, and Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit of God as our teacher, guide, and protector. Our task is to embrace what the Bible teaches, and be properly prepared by “knowing the enemy.”
Prayer: Dear Lord, as we go into battle help us to put on the whole armor of God so that we can take a stand against our enemy Satan and his hosts. We claim the victory through Jesus Christ.