Deuteronomy 3 – Strengthening Faith

Moses concluded his historical review as part of his introduction to renewing the covenant between the Lord and Israel. Following Israel’s total destruction of Sihon, the king of Bashan, Og, attacked them. Before the battle the Lord assured Moses of total victory, just like they experienced over Sihon. Moses and Israel should not then fear Og and his mighty empire but utterly destroy them, which they did. No matter how stout and skilled the attacker or how well fortified and defended the empire’s 60 cities were, all were completely annihilated.

These conquered territories were then given to the Israelite tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh as their inheritance.

Moses exhorted and encouraged his successor, Joshua, that just as God defeated these pagan kingdoms so he would do to every Canaanite nation. Joshua should therefore not be intimidated by the Canaanites, because the battles would not be won by Israel, but by the Lord God himself.

All this greatly affected Moses. The Lord had only begun to show his greatness and mighty power, evidences of his being the one true and living God who does whatever he pleases. Moses thus asked the Lord to be able to cross the Jordan and see the promised land, but God expressly forbade it and told Moses not to ask about that again.


  1. God directs circumstances that believers would not seek, in order to strengthen their faith. Sihon and Og attacked Israel, Israel did not take the initiative to attack them, and that was by God’s doing. Seeing God do what he said he would do encourages and strengthens faith and then compels faith driven initiative.
  2. There are some things you don’t need to and shouldn’t pray about. While God’s promises are and should be the fuel and content of prayers, whatever he prohibits should not be prayed for.