Have you ever told your kids to do something or NOT to do something but they decide to do it their way instead…………and it ends up with a mess, something broken or someone hurt? If you are a parent, you’ve probably said more than once, “if you had just done what I said, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Usually when my kids make a mess of things with their disobedience, they immediately start trying to obey, clean up their mess or fix the problem….especially if punishment is forthcoming. But some problems can’t be fixed once the damage is done. Even if your kid hates it that grandma’s vase got broken and is really, really sorry it doesn’t cause the vase to become unbroken. Disobedience can’t be undone. It can be forgiven. But the consequences don’t go away.
In Deuteronomy chapter 1, Moses recounts how the Lord told the people of Israel to go in and occupy the land of Canaan. So they decided to send in spies to see the land, and despite the Lord’s promise that He would give the country to them, they became afraid of the powerful enemy. They refused to go in. In verses 29-32 Moses says:
“But I said to you, ‘Don’t be shocked or afraid of them! The Lord your God is going ahead of you. he will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt….Now he has brought you to this place.’ But even after all he did, you refused to trust the Lord your God.”
When our children disobey we usually discipline them or punish them so they might learn something valuable and not make the same mistakes again. The Lord did this with His people as we see in verse 34:
“Not one of you from this wicked generation will live to see the good land I swore to give your ancestors…”
When God lays out the punishment for the people they immediately try to undo their disobedience. Listen to Moses’ account in verses 41-43:
“Then you confessed, ‘We have sinned against the Lord! We will go into the land and fight for it, as the Lord our God has commanded us.’ So your men strapped on their weapons, thinking it would be easy to attack the hill country. 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.’ 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.
The bottom line is that disobedience can’t be undone. And delayed obedience isn’t really obedience at all. It’s still disobedience. If we are good parents then we teach our children to obey and there are consequences when they don’t. God is a good Father and He intends for us to obey as well.
Perhaps there is something He desires for you to do. Even if it seems difficult or you are afraid, don’t let that stand in the way of obeying Him. Disobedience can’t be undone.