Scripture: Deuteronomy 4:25 (Moses said to the people) When you have had children and children’s children, and become complacent in the land, if you act corruptly by making an idol in the form of anything, thus doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, and provoking him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to occupy; you will not live long on it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples; only a few of you will be left among the nations where the Lord will lead you…. 30 In your distress, when all these things have happened to you in time to come, you will return to the Lord your God and heed him. 31 Because the Lord your God is a merciful God, he will neither abandon you nor destroy you; he will not forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them.
Observation: Moses is speaking to God’s people as they are about to enter the Promised Land. He gave them all the rules they would need to follow in order to stay in right relationship with God the Father. He also told them what would happen if they failed to honor those rules. Moses had seen the chronic unfaithfulness of God’s people along the journey in the wilderness. No doubt, as he gave the people the warning, he feared for them.
Application: It would be great if we humans would heed the wisdom of others to avoid heartbreak and misery – but too often we don’t. More specifically, I don’t. The truth is, many times I choose to learn the hard way. As I approach my 50th birthday, I’m increasingly aware of my physical health situation. Why? Because it seems about age 50 or so the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle begin to reveal themselves in a more pronounced way. While overall I’m pretty darn healthy, and I’ve done reasonably well at self-care, I know I can do better. In fact, I’ve spent the last couple of months really focused in this area of my life and it’s paying off. I just hope I haven’t waited too long to see the benefits.
Question: Is there an area of your life where you’re doing what you know you shouldn’t? When we’re young it seems we have all the time in the world to make up for our mistakes. But as we get older, that becomes less true. Time becomes more precious. Maybe now is the time to right the ship dear brother/sister.
Prayer: Lord, we can be a stubborn people – aware of the different between right and wrong, yet doing wrong anyway. Give us grace to get our lives back on track with you. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.