A Do-Over

Krista Williams

Day: 1 | Plan: Deuteronomy

Today's Reading: Deuteronomy 1

Deuteronomy 1:32-33 (NIV) “In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in a fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.”

We are not a people who like to dwell on failure. So why would Moses, one of the greatest leaders ever, begin a message with a reminder of the peoples’ failure?

As Moses begins Deuteronomy, and his final messages to Israel, he reminds the Israelites of the failures of the previous generation so they and their children won’t fall into the same traps.

An entire generation has died out because of unbelief. A new generation has a fresh start, but only if they didn’t repeat the choices of their fathers.

Maybe we don’t want to dwell on failure, but if we forget the past, it is nearly impossible to learn from it. This new generation has the opportunity for a do-over, so Moses begins this first message with a valuable history lesson.

God had commanded the people to go in and take the land He had already promised to them. It was a land that He Himself would secure for them. But the past generation’s fear and lack of faith forfeited God’s promises. They were so shortsighted! They missed what God had promised because of their focus on their problems.

They left God out of the equation.

They had His promises.

They had His presence.

They had His protection.

And they had His guidance and provision. But all they could see were their problems.

Their vision was clouded by their circumstance. This isn’t a failure Moses wants the new generations to repeat.

Rebellion, the fruit of unbelief, always costs us something. Moses knew that unbelief leads to a hard heart, which leads to a hard life. But Moses is not a man stuck in the past. While he recounts their failure, he casts vision for the future. This generation can avoid the pitfalls of the past, but they are faced with a choice. These choices will determine their future.

For the rest of what little time he has left, Moses will lay out these choices in his final messages to the next generation.

We are much like the Israelites. We stumble when our situation seems larger than life and we forget God’s faithfulness. I’m so thankful God allows us do-overs as well.

Prayer: Lord God, You are faithful, and Your faithfulness never diminishes. You never change, and neither does Your Word. Help me today to tuck these timely truths into my heart so that I won’t repeat the past. I want to have a teachable spirit and a heart that is sensitive to Your leading. Help me move forward in obedience and faith, trusting You for all that is before me and for all that I need. In Jesus’ name, amen.  

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