All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars, besides a great many unwalled towns.
As Moses is recounting the conquests made before entering the Promised Land, he makes note of something that should encourage the Israelites preparing to go in and take possession and should also encourage me in my difficulties.
Moses notes that the cities the Israelites conquered — cities that belonged to Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh as Moses was speaking — had been cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars. These cities were not pushover little podunk places, these were places meant to withstand a siege. And every last one was now in the hands of the Israelites. The first city the Israelites will encounter after crossing the Jordan is Jericho. They need to be reminded that high walls and sturdy gates and strong bars are not a problem for God.
So, too, do I need to look back and see the places where God has pulled down strongholds in my own life. I have not conquered fortified cities, but God has given me control over my anger and my anger was likely to destroy me before God got it under control. I have not burst open sturdy gates, but God has opened doors for me that had no business being open apart from God’s intervention. The list goes on for quite a while. And I need to regularly revisit the list of conquests God has made in my life, because He is not done yet. I have not taken hold of every promise He has made to me and He wants me to get hold of as many as possible.
Thank You, Father, that You have conquered things in my life that I could not have. Thank You for making promises that I could never deserve. Please continue to tear down the strongholds in my life and lead me into Your promises to me.