Ever been in a situation where fear or doubt kept you from completing what God had called you to do? Ever been in a situation where disobediences to the call caused you to miss out on what had been planned? Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! How will you receive the second chance? How will you respond? Will it be in trust? Will it be in obedience?
I have 2 pictures that come to mind – 1 when God called me to step up and be a leader in my community and 1 when God called me to move on from a job where I was happy and comfortable. I learned some pretty big lessons through both of the experiences. In the first example, fear and doubt were causing me to feel I wasn’t qualified to take on the role – God was calling me to step up to be the president of the home owners association I was part of that had about 10000 people in the community. In the second example, out of disobedience due to a sense of comfort and joy I didn’t pursue other opportunities.
In the first example, it got to the point where there was a mid-term election because a majority of the board ended up kicking out the existing president and we had to elect from the existing group. I stayed as VP by vote and also by not stepping up and putting my name in for the president role. As the year was coming to an end and the new year and new elections were going to happen, I was at the gym when I received the ultimatum from God “you will be president or you will be nothing! you choose” — so I chose that I would be ok with President if I was elected. To make a long story short, at the board meeting where the new members and existing ones come together to kick off and define roles and responsibilities, I was nominated and accepted the nomination and when the members voted, I was elected president. He did incredible things through that time – when I wasn’t sure what to do He provided me with wisdom and discernment. It was all Him working in and through me. When I put my hope and trust in Him rather than allowing the lies of the enemy to create fear and doubt, it was amazing the testimonies I now have and the assurance I have for future events in my life.
In the second example, by disobedience cause me to have to live out the breakup of our organization and the shuffling of where people had to go and the lies and deception of the new team. A gold nugget through that process was that I learned the power of forgiveness. So God can redeem us and God can provide us a second chance. In this example, I later moved from the first team and then it happened again with the next team, in this example my first response was to forgive them and wow what a difference that made to the process and to my health.
God knows what He is doing! If you miss out for some reason the first time, learn from it and don’t repeat it, but live it out to God’s full potential. Accept the second chance and watch God work in and through it all.
Today’s reading speaks to the second chance for the people of Israel. They missed their first chance and had to wander the wilderness for 40 years. The first generation what missed the mark were gone and the new generation was going to get their chance. Moses wasn’t going to get to go, however, God would provide Joshua to lead the people into the promised land. But we will see how Moses speaks to the people to encourage them to not lose faith and to step up and step into what God has planned for them.
1“Next we turned and went up the way to the Bashan. King Og of the Bashan came out against us—he and all his people—for battle at Edrei. 2But Adonai said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have handed him over and all his people and his land. You will do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.’ 3“So Adonai our God also handed over King Og of the Bashan and all his people, and we struck him down until no survivor was left. 4We captured all his cities at that time—there was not a town that we did not take from them—sixty cities, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in the Bashan. 5All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars, in addition to a great many unwalled towns. 6We utterly destroyed them, just as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying every city—men, women and children. 7But all the livestock and the spoils of the cities we took as plunder for ourselves. 8“So at that time we took from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land across the Jordan, from the Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon. 9(Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir.) 10We took all the cities of the plain and all the Gilead and all the Bashan, as far as Salcah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in the Bashan. 11(For only King Og of the Bashan survived from the remnant of the Rephaim. In fact, his bed was made of iron—is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits was its length and four cubits its width, according to the cubit of a man.)
Possession East of Jordan
12“This land we took in possession at that time—from Aroer by the Wadi Arnon and half the hill country of the Gilead and its cities—I gave to the Reubenites and Gadites. 13The rest of the Gilead and all of the Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh—all the region of the Argob. (All the Bashan is called the land of Rephaim. 14Jair son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites. He called them—the Bashan—after his own name, Havvoth-jair’s Villages, as it is the case to this day.) 15“To Machir I gave the Gilead. 16To the Reubenite and Gadites I gave from the Gilead as far as the Wadi Arnon—the middle of the wadi as the border—and as far as Jabbok, the wadi that is the border of the sons of Ammon, 17and the Arabah, with the Jordan as the border from Kinneret as far as the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah eastward. 18“I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘Adonai your God has given you this land to possess it. Ready for battle, you will cross over ahead of your brothers Bnei-Yisrael—all the men of valor. 19Only your wives and your little ones and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) may stay in your cities that I have given you, 20until Adonai gives rest to your brothers as He has for you, and they also possess the land that Adonai your God is giving them across the Jordan. Then you may return, each man to his possession that I have given you.’ 21“I commanded Joshua at that time saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that Adonai your God has done to these two kings. Adonai will do the same to all the kingdoms you are about to cross into. 22You must not fear them, for it is Adonai your God who fights for you.’
Moses Pleads to Enter
23“I pleaded with Adonai at that time, saying, 24‘O Lord Adonai, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand—for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do deeds and mighty acts like Yours? 25Please! Let me cross over and see the good land across the Jordan—that good hill country and the Lebanon.’ 26“But Adonai was angry with me because of you, so He would not listen to me. ‘Enough!’ Adonai said to me, ‘Do not speak to Me anymore about this matter. 27Go up to the top of Pisgah, look around to the west and the north and the south and the east, and see with your eyes—for you will not cross over this Jordan. 28But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will cross over before this people, and he will enable them to inherit the land that you will see.’ 29So we stayed in the valley opposite Beth-peor.
–from Deuteronomy 3
When the second chance happens, remember and be obedient to God’s call!
Bnei-Yisrael Must Listen and Obey
1“Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to do, so that you may live and go in and possess the land that Adonai the God of your fathers is giving you. 2You must not add to the word that I am commanding you or take away from it—in order to keep the mitzvot of Adonai your God that I am commanding you. 3Your eyes have seen what Adonai did at Baal Peor, for Adonai your God has destroyed from among you everyone who followed Baal Peor. 4But you who held tight to Adonai your God are alive today—all of you. 5“See, just as Adonai my God commanded me, I have taught you statutes and ordinances to do in the land that you are about to enter to possess. 6You must keep and do them, for it is your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the peoples, who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ 7For what great nation is there that has gods so near to them, as Adonai our God is whenever we call on Him? 8What great nation is there that has statutes and ordinances that are righteous—like all of this Torah that I am setting before you today? 9“Only be watchful and watch over your soul closely, so you do not forget the things your eyes have seen and they slip from your heart all the days of your life. You are to make them known to your children and your children’s children. 10The day that you stood before Adonai your God in Horeb, Adonai said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me and I will make them hear My words, so that they learn to fear Me all the days that they live on the earth, and so that they teach their children.’
Words from the Fiery Mountain
11“You came near and stood at the bottom of the mountain while the mountain was blazing with fire up to the heart of the heavens—darkness, cloud, and fog. 12Adonai spoke to you from the midst of the fire. The sound of words you heard, but a form you did not see—only a voice. 13He declared to you His covenant, which He commanded you to do—the Ten Words—and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. 14Adonai commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, so that you might do them in the land you are crossing over to possess. 15“So be very watchful over your souls since you saw no form on the day that Adonai spoke to you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16so that you do not act corruptly and make for yourselves a graven image in the likeness of any figure—the form of a male or female, 17the form of any animal that is on the earth, the form of any winged bird that flies in the sky, 18the form of anything that creeps on the ground, the form of any fish that is in the water under the earth— 19and so that you do not lift up your eyes toward the heavens and see the sun and the moon and the stars—all the heavenly host—and are drawn away and bow down and worship them. Adonai your God has allotted them to all the peoples under all the heavens. 20But you, Adonai has taken, and He brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt to be a people for His own inheritance, as you are this day. 21“Furthermore Adonai was angry with me because of your words, and He swore that I would not cross over the Jordan or enter the good land that Adonai your God is giving you for an inheritance. 22For I must die in this land; I am not crossing over the Jordan. But you will cross over and take possession of that good land.
23Watch yourselves, so that you do not forget the covenant of Adonai your God, which He cut with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything that Adonai your God has forbidden you. 24For Adonai your God is a consuming fire —a jealous God. 25“When you father children and children’s children and have been in the land a long time, and you act corruptly and make a graven image in the form of anything and do evil in the sight of Adonai your God, provoking Him to anger, 26I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that you will certainly be carried off quickly from the land you are crossing over the Jordan to possess. You will not prolong your days on it, for you will certainly be destroyed. 27Adonai will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where Adonai will drive you. 28There you will serve man-made gods of wood and stone, which do not see or hear or eat or smell. 29But from there you will seek Adonai your God and you will find Him, when you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30“When you are in distress and all these things have come on you, in the latter days you will return to Adonai your God and listen to His voice.
31For Adonai your God is a merciful God. He will not abandon you or destroy you, or forget the covenant with your fathers that He swore to them. 32“Indeed, ask now about the former days that were before you, from the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of the sky to the other. Has there ever been such a great thing as this, or has anything like it been heard? 33Has a people ever heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard—and lived? 34Or has any god ever tried to come to take for himself a nation from within a nation—by trials, by signs and wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors—like all that Adonai your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35You were shown, so that you might know that Adonai is God—there is no other besides Him. 36From the heavens He made you hear His voice to instruct you, and on earth He caused you to see His great fire—you heard His words from the midst of the fire. 37Because He loved your fathers, He chose their descendants after them. Then He brought you out from Egypt with His presence, by His great power— 38to drive out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day. 39“So you will know today and take to heart that Adonai, He is God, in the heavens above and on the earth below—there is no other. 40You must keep His statutes and His mitzvot, which I am commanding you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you may prolong your days in the land that Adonai your God is giving you for all time.” 41Then Moses set apart three cities beyond the Jordan, toward the east. 42There the manslayer might flee, who kills his neighbor unintentionally and did not hate him previously. He may flee to one of these cities and live: 43Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau for the Reubenites, Ramot in the Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in the Bashan for the Manassites. 44This is the Torah, which Moses set before Bnei-Yisrael. 45These are the testimonies and the statutes and the ordinances, which Moses spoke to Bnei-Yisrael when they came out from Egypt— 46beyond the Jordan, in the valley opposite Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites who lived at Heshbon, whom Moses and Bnei-Yisrael struck down when they came out from Egypt. 47They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of the Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan toward the east— 48from Aroer, which is on the edge of the wadi Arnon, as far as Mount Sion (that is, Hermon), 49and all the Arabah beyond the Jordan eastward, as far as the sea of the Arabah , under the slopes of Pisgah.
–from Deuteronomy 4
Let’s be living for the long term goal! Let’s be living for the purpose God has given us! Let’s be living for the call He has put on our lives! Let’s be aiming for eternity spent with Him! Our time here is temporary and we need to be able to do the best we can as good stewards while we are here! Let’s invest in what will last! Let’s spend on things that are eternal! Spend time! Spend energy! Spend money! Spend love! Spend hope! Spend words of encouragement! Let’s be good ambassadors for Jesus in the way we live!
Earthly Tents, Eternal Dwellings
1For we know that if the tent, our earthly home, is torn down, we have a building from God—a home not made with human hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling— 3if indeed, after we have put it on, we will not be found naked. 4For we groan while we are in this tent—burdened because we don’t want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5Now the One who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Ruach as a pledge. 6Therefore we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. 7For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So whether at home or absent, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Messiah, so that each one may receive what is due for the things he did while in the body—whether good or bad.
Ambassadors for Messiah
11Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we are trying to persuade people, but what we are is known to God—and I hope it is known to your consciences as well. 12For we are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity for boasting about us, so that you may have something to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. 13For if we are out of our minds, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For the love of Messiah compels us, since we have concluded that One died for all; as a result all died. 15And He died for all so that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised. 16So from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Messiah according to the flesh, yet now we no longer know Him this way. 17Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Messiah and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19That is, in Messiah God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them; and He has entrusted the message of reconciliation to us. 20We are therefore ambassadors for Messiah, as though God were making His appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Messiah, be reconciled to God. 21He made the One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
–from 2 Corinthians 5