Daily D – Deuteronomy 1:42
Deuteronomy 1:42 “But the Lord told me to tell you, ‘Do not attack, for I am not with you. If you go ahead on your own, you will be crushed by your enemies.’” (NLT)
“Delayed obedience is disobedience,” the preacher said. I wonder where the idea for that sermon came from? While there are dozens of examples of this truth in the pages of the Bible and in the records of our own lives, Numbers 14 and Deuteronomy 1 may well provide the big idea itself.
There are a couple of different kinds of time we need to give attention. Late this afternoon, at most people’s quitting time, I will arrive at a physical therapy appointment. This is chronological time. It’s the kind of time we talk about when looking at our calendars and watches.
Years ago, I participated in a life-planning process where something clicked and reoriented my life. It was an opportune moment. Everything had been leading up to that moment. Nothing has been quite the same since that moment. This is kairos time or qualitative time. The ancient Greeks thought of kairos as the moment when an archer (or Bowman) finds the perfect opening to shoot his arrow at his target.
God led Israel out of Egypt by his power and in his perfect timing. He led them to the doorstep of the Promised Land. Then, even though everyone involved in the story had seen what God did to the gods of Egypt, and even though everyone involved in the story had seen how God had provided for them in leading them to the precipice of his promise, the majority leadership said it was too hard and could not be done.
They decided they could not go on. Then they were told the consequences of their decision. All of those men would die in the wilderness over the next forty years. Upon hearing this news, they decided maybe they should do what they had been told. The chronology was close. However, the kairos moment was gone. The door was closed.
Even so, some of them pushed on to do what they had not done when they were told to do it. God warned them with the words in the verse above. If they pushed on, they would not have his guidance, his presence, or his provision.
They attempted to create a kairos moment on their own. Verses 43-45 tell us what happened:
“This is what I told you, but you would not listen. Instead, you again rebelled against the Lord’s command and arrogantly went into the hill country to fight. But the Amorites who lived there came out against you like a swarm of bees. They chased and battered you all the way from Seir to Hormah. So you stayed there at Kadesh for a long time.”
It is wise never to confuse chronological time with opportune moments. When God says, “It is time,” it is time. Move it!
Here’s a big question for the beginning of this workweek: What time is it? What opportune moment or moments lie ahead of you today and this week? Will you keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26)? Or will you miss God’s guidance, power, and provision?
I will keep in step with God and walk into the opportune moments he has prepared.
Our Father, I want to be on time with you always. I have not always been on time with you. I have missed so many moments you have prepared for me. I have been afraid. I have been distracted. I have chosen my own way. Thank you for giving use the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.