Conquering beyond Jordan
In the earlier verses of this portion we catch a glimpse of the former history of Palestine, with the wars of conquest and changes of tenure that swept over it. The Almighty Governor of the world was, as the Apostle Paul said afterward, determining seasons and frontiers. Nations enervated by their sins are continually being judged by the Prince of the kings of the earth. See Lev 18:28 ; Act 17:26-27 ; Rev 1:5 ; Mat 25:32 .
A pacific and fair offer, in all good faith, was made to Sihon, which he refused to accept. The heart which is already hardened by sin becomes harder with every fresh rejection of God’s love. In that sense we understand how the Lord hardened his heart. No ice is so hard as that which freezes at night after a day of thaw. The sun that melts wax, hardens clay; but the fault is not with the sun, but with the clay.