April 1: Moving On
Deuteronomy 1:1–46; 2 Corinthians 1:1–11; Psalm 31:1–9
“You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn now and move on” (Deut 1:6–7).
We have a terrible tendency to stay in one place or keep doing one activity longer than we should. Our meetings run long, we constantly work overtime, or we overstay a welcome. And then there’s the most significant problem of all: we ignore God’s command to leave a place, position, or role.
Change can be refreshing. But the countless decisions and the difficult and frustrating moments that accompany change can often keep us from moving forward. We become comfortable where we are, and we fear the unknown.
Indeed, the majority of people (including Christians) live seemingly meaningless lives. Most American Christians spend more hours per day doing comfortable things, like watching TV, than they do praying, reading their Bibles, or serving others (usually combined). Yet what do the elderly always tell us? “I wish I had taken more risks; if only I wasn’t so afraid.” We’re all on our way to dying. But as Christians, we’re also on our way to eternal life. Why should we limit God’s work with our fear?
In Deuteronomy 1, God called Moses to leave the mountain—a place where he’d grown comfortable. Moses’ new path would be far from easy. He was going to enter the land of the Amorites and Canaanites, who were feared warriors (Deut 1:7). He was about to risk the lives of everyone with him—men, women, and children—in the process of following God’s will. Both young and old would once again be in danger.
But God didn’t intend for Moses to remain in the wilderness; He called Moses to lead His people into the same holy land He had promised to Abraham many years before (Deut 1:8).
And despite his fear, that’s what Moses did: “Then we turned and set out toward the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea, as Yahweh told me, and we went around Mount Seir for many days” (Deut 2:1).
Moses’ confidence was based on one thing: what God had spoken. May your confidence be grounded in the same thing, and may you trust God at His word.
What is God calling you to do now? What comforts is He calling you to leave behind? What have you been ignoring?
JOHN D. BARRY
- These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel, on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain, over against the red sea, between Paran and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab. There are eleven days journey from Horeb unto Kadesh Barnea, by the way of mount Seir. And it came to pass in the first day of the eleventh month, in the fortieth year that Moses spake unto the children of Israel according unto all that the Lord hath given him in commandment unto them. After that he had slain Sihon the King of the Amorites which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, which dwelt at Ashtaroth in Edrei. On this side Jordan at the land of Moab began Moses to declare this law, saying, The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, ye have dwelt long enough in this mount, Turn you and depart, and go unto the mountain of the Amorites, and unto all places near thereunto in the plain, in the mountain, or in the valley: both Southward, and to the Sea side to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon: even unto the great river, the river Perah. Behold, I ahve set the land before ou: go in and possess that land which the Lord sware, unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and unto their seed after them. And I spake unto you the same time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone: The Lord your God hath multiplied you: and behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven in number: (The Lord God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you,) How can I alone bear your cumbrance and your charge, and your strife? Bring you en of wisdom and of understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you: Then he answwered me and said, the thing is good that thou hast commanded us to do. So I took the chief of your tribes, wise and known men, and made them rulers over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifty, and captains over ten, and officers among your tribes. And I charged your Judges that same time, saying, Hear the controversies between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall have no respect of person in judgment, but shall hear the small as well as the great: ye shall not fear the face of man: for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring unto me, and I will hear it. Also I commanded you the same time all the things which ye should do. Then we departed from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness (as ye have seen) by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the Lord our God commanded us: and we came to Kadesh Barnea. And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountains of the Amorites, which the Lord our God doth give unto us. Behold, the Lord thy God hath laid the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord the God of thy fathers hath sai dunto thee: fear not, neither be discouraged. Then ye came unto me everyone, and said, We will send men before us, to search us out the land, and to brin gus word again, what way we must go up by, and unto what cities we shall come. So the saying pleased me well, and I took twelve men of you, of every tribe one. Who departed, and went up into the mountain, and came unt othe river Eshcol, and searched out the land. And took of the fruit of the land in their hand, and brought it unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land, which the Lord our God doth give us. Nothwithstanding ye woud ot go up, but were disobedient unto the commandment of the Lord your God, And murmured in your tents, and said, Because the Lord hated us, therefore hath he brought us out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, and to destroy us. Whither shall we go up, our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, The people [are] greater, and taller than we: the cities are great and walled up to heaven: and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there. But I said unto you, Dread not, nor be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did unto you in Egypt before your eyes, And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how the ord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way which ye have gone, until ye came unt othis place. Yet for all this ye did not believe the Lord your God, Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, that ye might see what way to go, and in a cloud by day. Then the Lord heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying, Surely there shall not one of these men of this forward generaiton, see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh: he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath constantly followed the Lord. Als o the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt nor go in thither, But Joshua the son of Nun which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. Moreover, your children, which ye said should be a prey, and your sons, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it. But as for you, turn back and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the red Sea. Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against the Lord, we will go up, and fight, according toa lll tha tthe Lord our God hath commanded us: and ye armed you every man to the war, and were ready to go up into the mountain. But the Lord said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight, (for I am not among you) lest ye fall before your enemies. And when I told you, ye would not hear, but rebelled against hte commandment of the Lord, and were presumptuous, and went up into the mountain. Then the Amorites which dwelt in that mountain came out against you, and chased you (as bees used to do) and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah. And when ye came again, ye wept before the Lord, but he Lord would not hear your voice, nor incline his ears unto you. So ye abode in Kadesh a long time, according to the time that ye had remained before. Deuteronomy 1:1–46
- PAUL, an Apostle of JESUS Christ, by the will of God, and our brother Timothy, to the Church of God, which is at Corinth, with all the Saints, which are in all Achaia: Grace be with you, and peace from God, our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Chirst. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Which comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any affliction by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation aboundeth through Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is wrought in the enuring of the same sufferings, which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for yor consolation and salvation. And our hope is steadfast concerning you, in as much as we know, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.For brethren, we would not have you ignorant of our affliction, which came unto us in Asia,how we were pressed out of measure passing strength, so that we altogether doubted even of life. Yea, we received the sentence of death in ourselves, because we should not rest in ourselves, but in God, which raised the dead. Who delivered us from so great a death, doth deliver us: in whom we trust, that yet hereafter he will deliver us. So that ye labor togethr in prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us for many, thanks may be given by many persons for us. 2 Corinthians 1:1–11
- In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust: let me never be confounded: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me: make haste to deliver me: be unto me a strong rock, and an house of defense to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress: therefore for thy Name;s said direct me and guide me. Draw me out of the net, that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commend my spirit: for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. I have hated them that give themselves to deceitful vanities:for I trust in the Lord. I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast seen my trouble: thou hast known my soul in adversaries, And thou hast not shut me up in the hand of the enemy, but hast set my feet at large. Have mercy upon me, O Lord: for I am in trouble: mine eye, my soul and my belly are consumed with grief. Psalm 31:1–9