To understand any Bible verse, we must keep it in its context and consider the background. Israel was in danger of losing their trust and dependance upon God. As a result, they could be easily overpowered by their enemies. On the other hand, it is clear that God can empower people to have great authority and strength if He so chooses. In this passage, Israel is warned that, if God allows it, thousands can be influenced or “chased” by just two people. Taking this at face value, let’s apply it to a married couple.
This verse implies that one Hebrew could chase a thousand and that two could put ten thousand to flight as God empowers them. Verse thirty is an exhortation for a married couple to not forget God their Rock. Should they forget their Fortress and Defense, they could be easily overwhelmed by marital challenges. On the flipside, as they stay true to God, their strength against evil is multiplied thousands of times over. If Israel had been wise and faithful to God, they could easily have conquered all of their foes. Instead, they learned bitter lessons on the backside of the desert for forty years.
We must remember that Moses is not describing an actual event here, for there is no record of two persons chasing 10,000 men. True to Hebrew teaching methodology, we see here exaggeration for the sake of emphasis. The point is not that there is power in numbers, but that God can use two people to accomplish great things for His purposes. Moses wants his readers to understand that God is the One who fights for them and that their strength lies neither in single individuals who might put a thousand to flight, nor in pairs who can do even greater things. The point here is that God is the power behind the accomplishments of “two.” Jesus reiterated that point when He said, “the two shall become one” (Matthew 19:5). By quoting Genesis 2:24, He reminds us that if we are smart, like the Hebrews should have been (Deuteronomy 32:29), we will consider our future together in God and, through His help, overcome all things that threaten a godly, spiritual life together.
Israel became powerless because they began to trust in their own strength and wisdom. When a couple begins to try to sort things out by themselves, they are prey for evil forces. But this sad scenerio does not have to be true of your marriage. God begs us to be “wise and to consider the end result” of our short sightedness. We must consider the consequences of leaving God out of marital decisions. God asks us to consider the potential confusion and misery that will inevitably result if we do. As a couple, and ultimately as a nation, we will always reap what we sow.
God wants us to realize that a nation or any two people will prosper if they lean on His wisdom and put their trust in His Word to overcome any obstacle that may come their way.