And they rose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, “Here we are, and we will go up to the place which the Lord has promised, for we have sinned!” (Numbers 14:40)
After being informed that all those who had come out of Egypt would perish in the wilderness, the people had a change of heart. On the next morning, they appeared before Moses promising to go into the land. They acknowledged they had sinned but only after the punishment for that sin had been handed down. And so we have a situation where someone expressed a foolish desire — “Just let us die in this wilderness” — and when what they expressed was imposed upon them, they respond with, “I didn’t really mean that.” At that point, however, it’s too late.
Moses told them that to go up against the Canaanites at this point would be adding another sin to the previous transgression. While He would have been with them the day before, at this point, He was not and they would die by the sword if they pursued this venture. Unbelievably, they went to Hormah without Moses and the ark and were bitterly defeated. It seems to me that, at this point, they were completely incapable of hearing God, much less obeying what He told them. Furthermore, their timing was awful and completely out of sync with the Creator’s.
That thought brings me to our point for today — timing is everything. It is critical that we do not get ahead of God and just as critical that we do not lag behind. This is exactly what the children of Israel did. Initially, they were not ready to move into the land when He said to move, followed by a foolish decision to move when He said, “Not now.” We need to learn from their mistakes and realize the importance of hearing God in every matter — not just what to do but when to do it, and when not to. In turn, that amplifies the need to be filled with His Spirit so that we can be truly guided in all things. Most of us have probably already learned the sting of being out of sync with God’s timing but, in this day and age, we can’t really afford to repeat that mistake. Learn to hear His Voice and train yourself to both wait on Him and move at His command.
Blessings and Shalom,