Summary: Moses missed out on entering the Promised Land of Canaan because of his actions at the Waters of Meribah. What will we miss out on if we disobey God, even once?
WHAT WILL YOU LEAVE ON THE TABLE?
by Pastor Jim May
Nearly a year ago I was forced to take an early retirement from the job that I had worked at for over 23 years. In the process I managed to lose approximately half of the retirement income that I would have received if I could have stayed only two more years. The reason for this change was that our jobs working for a parish entity (county if you live anywhere but Louisiana), were privatized. A contract company moved in, offered a deal that my former employers couldn’t refuse, and suddenly I found myself having to reapply for the same job that I was already doing but with a new employer. (I know that there are multitudes in this country who have faced a similar situation)
In the process of applying a negotiating for the new position, I was in a bit of a rush to make sure that I would still have a job after the transition was completed so I was quick to accept the offer that was made to me because it was equal to, or perhaps just a few pennies more, than what I was already earning. At that moment, when I signed the paper accepting the offer, I felt that I had done the right thing.
But it wasn’t long until I began to wonder if I had really done the right thing. As I spoke to a few others, I discovered that one or two of them had received a slightly higher offer than I had. No firm amounts were mentioned, only that they had been offered a little more to stay on the job.
I began to wonder just how much I had left on the table? Could I have held out a little longer and maybe negotiated a little higher wage? How many of you know that it’s really hard to tell just what you could have done.
There’s always that little nagging feeling that I should have at least waited to see if there would be a second, and higher offer.
But I had to come to the conclusion that, if I had turned down the first offer, there may not have been a second offer, or an offer at all. So I settled into what the Lord had provided and I’ve set those thoughts aside concerning what was left on the table.
You can really lose perspective if you try to dwell on things that might have been instead of living with and dealing with what is and what could still come in the future!
Have you ever felt that way with your spiritual life? Have you ever wondered what blessings, what great work for the Lord and what great accomplishments you have missed out on because you made the wrong choice at the wrong time?
I want to speak to you just a little while about “What you might just leave on the table” in your work for the Kingdom of God!
Let’s look at Moses’ life for a moment. I want to show you what just a few brief moments of disobedience, or just a few words spoken in frustration, anger and disbelief, cost Moses in his relationship and work for God.
The first thing we need to understand is just what kind of man Moses was. All of us who have been in church for any period of time, or who have read even a little bit of the Bible, have heard the story of Moses.
He was born of a Israeli family in Egypt – born to be a slave. Pharaoh had decreed that every Hebrew male child should be killed to keep a “deliverer” from rising up to free the Hebrew slaves that he counted on so much.
Moses was saved by putting him in a boat and letting him float down the Nile to where Pharaoh’s daughter found him and adopted him as her own son. He grew up in the household of Pharaoh, then had to run for his life after killing an Egyptian taskmaster who was mistreating a Hebrew slave.
On the backside of the desert Moses learned to trust in God. He was called and anointed to be the “deliver” of the Hebrews out of Egypt under God’s mighty hand.
Moses started out doubting his own ability to lead Israel, but God saw a leader in Moses and so began Moses’ life as the deliverer.
He saw God bring on the plagues against Egypt until Pharaoh could no longer deny Israel it’s freedom. Israel walked out of Egypt, then Moses saw the miracle of the parting of the waters of the Red Sea. God was using Moses to lead his people to their Promised Land.
Traveling across the desert and wilderness country required a lot of water for the nearly two million Hebrews that Moses led. But God was their Jehovah Jireh, “their Provider”, and He would not let them die in the desert.