And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month,on the first day of the month,
that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei:On this side Jordan, in 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 take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates. Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them. Deuteronomy 1:3-8;
Towards the end of the forty years’ journey of the children of Israel in the wilderness, God began to indicate that it was time to step into the Promised Land. God’s original plan for the children of Israel was to take possession of Canaan after forty days journey through the wilderness, but due to their disobedience, unbelief and hardness of heart, forty days’ journey eventually turned out to be forty years! During the four decades of this agonizing journey through the wilderness, God, just as He had vowed, got rid of the entire generation that departed from Egypt. After that unbelieving generation was wiped off, God was now fully prepared to usher the Israelites into the Promised Land as He had promised, but it appears the people were not ready at all to make a move or step out.
It appears God had been waiting for long on the children of Israel to depart from Horeb and step into the Promised Land, but when it became apparent that they were far from being ready, God issued a very strong order at the eleventh hour. God’s specific match order which came to the Israelites on the first (1st) day of the eleventh month of the fortieth year of their journey was meant to give them the push they needed to step out. It’s obvious the children of Israel had totally lost sight of the Promised Land which was the reason they had no more aspirations and strong desire to move forward and take possession. It took Moses serious efforts reechoing God’s unfailing promises in order to ignite their sleeping hearts. It is impossible to make progress in life if you lose focus of your goal and aspirations; if your heart is not aspiring for something, you can never get it! Since the hearts of the children of Israel lacked earnest expectations of possessing the Promised Land, progress became impossible, they were grounded at Horeb!
According to the above scriptures, another reason the children of Israel appeared to find it difficult to detach from Horeb was that they had just taken over the lands of the Amorites and Bashan having conquered their kings, Sihon and Og respectively. After the conquest of these two kings, the Israelites seemed to have been satisfied, thinking they had reached their peak at the time God was still indicating that what they had achieved so far was far less than what He had in stock for them. The major problem of the children of Israel was that they had placed a ceiling upon their own lives and could therefore make no further progress! Going by God’s order, the Israelites were expected to move from their already possessed lands of the Amorites and Bashan in order to possess the more fertile and bigger Promised Land. Truth is, until you start seeing all you have ever achieved in life as only a stepping stone to where God is actually taking you to, you can never be great as God desires. One major problem with most of us is that we’re usually unwilling to give up what we’re holding to receive greater things from God. We must learn to give up our streams in order to receive rivers, and give up our rivers in order to receive oceans; there’s no way God can hand over greater things into our hands if we’re not willing to drop what we’re holding on to!
God’s instruction to the children of Israel was clear and specific; they were required to make a U-turn before embarking on the last lap of the journey to possess the Promised Land. If they were required to turn, it suggests they were headed in the wrong direction before and needed to reposition themselves in the right direction that would lead them into the Promised Land. It is certain that they would never be able to possess the land of Canaan as God promised unless they make the required U-turn. Majority of people are headed in the way of destruction and shame, and until they make a U-turn unto God, they can never amount to anything meaningful in life! If you sense God is asking you to turn, you better obey because there’s no way you can be what God destined you to be in life unless you’re headed in the right direction. Before you proceed on the journey and pursuit of your dreams, it’s important you crosscheck with God whether you’re heading in the right direction or not. There’s no way you can arrive at the glorious destination God has in mind for you if you’re travelling in the wrong direction!
Dearly beloved God, just as He spoke to the Israelites, is speaking to you today ‘Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount!’ God has been waiting till now for you to take the bold step that will usher you into greater heights and fulfillment, but as long as you remain glued to your ‘Horebs’ and ‘Bashans’, there’s no way you can be what you are destined to be. You must realize that whatever you have ever achieved in life is nothing compared to where God wants to take you to; unless you detach yourself from your comfort zones and take the bold step that leads to greatness, progress is impossible. God has not finished with you yet, there are yet more lands to conquer, there are yet greater heights to attain. Don’t rest on the oars of your past achievements, stand up and make a move now, it’s time to climb to the higher heights God has prepared for you! Amen.