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From Eternity Past

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    How God Revealed His Love to Wicked Nations

    These nations on the borders of Canaan would have been spared had they not stood, in defiance of God's word, to oppose Israel. The Lord gave Abraham the promise, “In the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” Genesis 15:16. God spared them four hundred years to give unmistakable evidence that He was the only true God. All His wonders in bringing Israel from Egypt were known to them. They might have known the truth, but they rejected the light and clung to their idols.EP 305.1

    When the Lord brought His people a second time to the borders of Canaan, additional evidence of His power was granted those heathen nations. They saw that God was with Israel in the victory over King Arad and the Canaanites and in the miracle to save those perishing from the sting of the serpents. The Israelites in all their journeyings and encampments had done no injury to the people or their possessions. On reaching the border of the Amorites, Israel had asked permission only to travel directly through the country, promising to observe the same rules that had governed their intercourse with other nations. When the Amorite king refused and defiantly gathered his hosts for battle, their cup of iniquity was full, and God would now exercise His power for their overthrow.EP 305.2

    The Israelites crossed the river Arnon and advanced upon the foe. An engagement took place. The armies of Israel were victorious, and they were soon in possession of the country of the Amorites. The Captain of the Lord's host vanquished the enemies of His people. He would have done the same thirty-eight years before, had Israel trusted in Him.EP 305.3

    The army of Israel eagerly pressed forward and soon reached a country that might well test their courage and faith in God. Before them lay the powerful kingdom of Bashan, crowded with great stone cities that to this day excite the wonder of the world—“threescore cities ... with high walls, gates, and bars, besides unwalled towns a great many.” The houses were constructed of huge black stones, of such size as to make the buildings impregnable to any force brought against them. It was a country filled with wild caverns and rocky strongholds. The inhabitants, descendants from a giant race, were of marvelous size and strength, so distinguished for violence and cruelty as to be the terror of all surrounding nations. Og, the king, was remarkable for size even in a nation of giants.EP 306.1

    But the cloudy pillar moved forward, and the Hebrew hosts advanced to Edrei, where the giant king awaited their approach. Og had skillfully chosen the place of battle—the city of Edrei, situated on the border of a tableland rising abruptly from the plain and covered with jagged rocks. It could be approached only by narrow pathways, steep and difficult of ascent. In case of defeat, his forces could find refuge in that wilderness of rocks where it would be impossible for strangers to follow.EP 306.2

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