The book of Deuteronomy opens with a retelling of the events of the exodus from Egypt. The new generation is reminded of why the children of Israel were wandering through the desert and did not enjoy the land flowing with milk and honey.
Part of this retelling (and why the book is called Deuteronomy} includes misadventure of trying to take the promised land after rejecting the Lord’s command to take it.
We must live with some choices, we ask forgiveness and even receive it, but we still must endure the consequences. We should also realize that two wrongs will not make things right, and we can’t force the hand of God.
The bible records Israel’s attempted taking on the 9th of Av on the biblical calendar. Throughout history, both temple destructions began on that same day.
The children of Israel knew they had not trusted the Lord with their future and did not like living with the consequences; they thought they could force entry into God’s land.
There have been many kingdoms and empires since Jesus ascended into heaven; some believed that they were going to establish God’s kingdom with or without Jesus sitting on an earthly throne. In other words, they thought they could force the arrival of God’s kingdom.
England and the United States are among those who held this view, and the Lord made it clear that He decided the Day and the hour.
Today, we live in a time when many believe that personal autonomy is greater than the sovereignty of God. From abortion to assisted suicide to sexual immorality and divorce, people believe it to be their body, their choice.
Living in a materialistic world means we don’t see much past our own nose. When discussing abortion, the sexual sin is rarely, if ever, discussed. The same is true of divorce. Two wrongs don’t make things right.
The world believes the promised land is just on the other side of disobedience to God, that they can force God to let them into His heaven by ignoring His way of doing things.
Jesus clearly taught there are only two options. Live life our way or live it His way. Sure, we’ve made mistakes, and we will not be thrilled with the consequences, but when we stop trying to fix our lives with more mistakes and own up to them, we realize that the Lord is with us in the desert.
Owning our sin and admitting it to ourselves and the people around us is how we can allow the Lord to use us when the time is right. The children of Israel that emerged from the desert were a generation of faith.
As Moses retold what God had done over the previous forty years, he told of the defeats, the victories, and the sin. He also made clear that the current generation had their own choice to make, God’s way or their own.