March 1, 2017. Numbers 14-15; Psalm 90.
These are a couple of very hard chapters to read and apply to life. The reason it is so difficult to read this story is because we are all guilty of this type of disbelief, disobedience and missed opportunities. And when we realize our mistake we want to be able to have a second chance at God’s original plan, but the hard truth is – it is too late.
Psalm 90 was written in reference to the history of Israel when they doubted God and would not go into the Promised Land as He directed because they were afraid of the inhabitants. The result of their doubt and fear was 40 years of wandering in the wilderness until that faithless generation had died. When they realized the consequences of their disbelief, they tried to return to God’s original plan, but Moses told them that it was too late (Numbers 14:41).
This reality can cause great pain, discouragement and even depression if not handled well. For that reason, the title of this devotional is “Don’t Read This”. Here is the take away (and it is not guilt), realize that mistakes are made. Chapter 15 gave instructions for the Israelites of how to deal with errors. This gives us great hope today that our errors also can be dealt with.
But when mistakes are made it must be realized that the plan has forever been changed by our decision. You can never go back to the original plan, so do not even try, and quit beating yourself up over it. Instead, make Psalm 90:12-17 your new prayer and focus:
Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. 13 O Jehovah, come and bless us! How long will you delay? Turn away your anger from us. 14 Satisfy us in our earliest youth with your loving-kindness, giving us constant joy to the end of our lives. 15 Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. 16 Let us see your miracles again; let our children see glorious things, the kind you used to do, 17 and let the Lord our God favor us and give us success. May he give permanence to all we do.
Take stock of the time you have left, what was done yesterday is done, and that day is spent. Now consider how will today to be spent, and if given tomorrow what then? Repent and ask God to give His goodness and gladness to match the proportion of past miseries. Pray to God to replace all the evil years with good.
Disobedience and lack of faith will put us on a different path, but that does not mean that God can no longer bless that path, or that He is unable to re-order our steps. Ask Him for His favor upon your life and ask Him for success and permanence in everything that is done from this moment forward in obedience to this new plan that He has crafted for your life.
Do not make the same mistake again in not believing Him. Trust Him and move forward with all confidence that God knows what is best for you.