January 6, 2015
READ: Deuteronomy 1:42-46
If you go ahead on your own, you will be crushed by your enemies (v.42).
The other day I read two passages in Deuteronomy and Numbers with similar messages. They caused me to recognise more deeply the consequences of disobeying God and failing to heed His warnings. Put succinctly: moving forward without God’s leading, permission or assistance, regardless of how we justify our words or actions, will lead to His judgement.
Let’s take a look at how two accounts in these Old Testament books reveal this truth. But as we do, keep in mind that we’re considering the physical, earthly consequences of our disobedience, not the eternal consequences of sin for which Jesus made salvation possible.
In Deuteronomy 1, Moses recounted how the Israelites had balked at God’s provision and “refused to trust the LORD” (v.32). Because they disobeyed and would not enter the land when God told them to, He postponed their entry into it for 40 years.
Later, the Israelites had grown tired of wandering in the desert and began complaining. Discontented with God’s timing, they prepared to head to the Promised Land on their own terms. They took things into their own hands and attacked their enemies, though they had been warned by the Lord, “Do not attack, for I am not with you. If you go ahead on your own, you will be crushed by your enemies” (Deuteronomy 1:42). And, indeed, when they attacked they were crushed and defeated. “The Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in those hills came down and attacked them and chased them back as far as Hormah” (v.45).
When we choose words and actions that go against God’s will and His clear instruction, we reap the consequences. Instead, may we increasingly pray and seek God’s wisdom before we speak or act. —Roxanne Robbins
365-day plan› Genesis 8:1-22
Read Luke 11:28 and see what Jesus says about people who take in God’s Word and faithfully put it into practice.
Ready to lash out at someone with your words? Consider God’s commands, and then choose to do what is right in His eyes. What will prevent you from being crushed by willful God-dishonouring decisions today?