The iron bedstead 13 1/2 feet long and 6 feet wide described in Deuteronomy chapter three was both king- and giant-sized. “For only Og, king of Bashan, remained of the remnant of giants. Behold, his bedstead was a bestead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? Nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man” (1 1/2 feet).
King Og’s height probably matched that of Goliath who stood 9 feet, 9 inches tall. Such towering men of war easily intimidated most of their opponents. When Israelite soldiers saw Goliath, they fled from him and were sore afraid. We express similar fears today. “Where does a 500 pound gorilla sit?” “Anywhere he wants to!” The more powerful controls the weaker.
Our Lord expressed this same truth when picturing His imminent victory over the spiritual giant, Satan, and our release from that tyrant’s slave-labor camp. “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are at peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoils (possessions)” (Lk. 11:21f).
Long ago the devil enticed our foolish human race to join his “I am a god” cult. His hypnotic personality so permeated the human body, soul, and mind that none of us could by our own reason or strength return to our heavenly Father’s home. We lay in bondage, sin, death, and darkness, but . . .
God’s love was working to set us free.
He sent forth Jesus, that true Redeemer,
He sent forth Jesus, and set us free.
God the Son began our undeserved rescue by joining the human race. Since we are made of flesh and blood, Christ also took a human nature into His person. The man Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost in the virgin Mary and born from her at Bethlehem. For the next 33 1/2 years that God-man lived here on earth as one of us. During that time no shameful desire or thought ever crossed His mind. A video tape of His earthly life would show that He never once spoke or acted against God’s ten commandments. God the Father declared: “Jesus is My beloved Son. I am well pleased with Him.”
The Savior then gave the record of His perfect life to all of us. He became “the Lord our righteousness.” The title on His video tape label now reads, “The Sinless Life of Every Human Being.” After replaying that tape, the holy God says to each one of us, “You are My beloved child. I am well pleased with you.”
In order to prevent Satan from playing the original tapes of our sin-filled lives before God, our merciful Redeemer assumed full blame for our many transgressions. He wrote His name on the labels of our tapes. “The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53:6). God punished Jesus by death on the cross for all our sins. In this way Christ erased all our incriminating tapes. He broke us free from Satan’s shackles.
That is why Martin Luther exulted:
Tho’ devils all the world should fill,
All eager to devour us,
We tremble not; we fear no ill,
They shall not overpower us.
The devil still walks about looking for some soul he can recapture. We should be wary of his tricks but need not dread his attacks. The Lord who has all power in heaven and earth dwells in us Christians by His Gospel. By being strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, we can resist the devil and force him to flee.
The Lord also encouraged Moses about the giant Og and his armies. “Fear him not, for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand” (Deut. 3:2). Later on Moses reminded the Israelites: “The Lord our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people; and we smote him until none was left to him remaining” (Deut. 3:3).
Nothing remained except that cumbersome artifact stored in Rabbath: an iron bedstead 13 1/2 feet long and 6 feet wide.
–Pastor Robert Mackensen