Remember yelling as a kid, “Do over!” when our turn didn’t come out the way we wanted it to? If everyone else agreed that the play was caused by interference for whatever reason, you got a “Do over”. If they thought you were trying to get a better advantage than you deserved, you were lucky to stay in the game!
The Israelites had many “Do over’s” while wandering in the desert. The biggest one was having to stay in the desert for forty years! The main reason why they did was because they had to learn how not to be slaves anymore. Think of it, a nation of Slaves for over Four Hundred years now free to go their own way.
Woo Hoo! No more rules, taskmasters or whippings! No more bowing and scraping, downcast eyes or working until they dropped! They had freedom to come and go, work or not work, freedom to worship God when, where and how they chose. At least that’s what it was supposed to be like.
You see, after 400 years of others telling them what to do, they really had no idea of how to live any other way. It took them forty years to lose that slave mindset and learn to obey God. They could have been in the Promised Land within two weeks of leaving Egypt, but God knew they weren’t ready to take possession of it.
Take the stop at Mt. Sinai for an example. Three months after leaving Egypt, the Children of Israel reach the mountain. Once there, God said to Moses, “Climb higher up the mountain and wait there for me; I’ll give you tablets of stone, the teachings and commandments that I’ve written to instruct them” Exodus 24:12. “When he (God) finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, he gave Moses two tablets of Testimony, slabs of stone, written with the finger of God.” Exodus 31:18. Notice that God made the tablets and He wrote the words. That’s important.
When Moses returned with God’s law, he saw how corrupt the people had become and threw down the tablets, breaking them and proclaimed that the people were not worthy to receive them. The people repented and claimed “Do over”!
Moses went back to God with their request for a do over and He granted it. Exodus 34: 1 “God spoke to Moses: “Cut out two tablets of stone just like the originals and engrave on them the words that were on the original tablets you smashed.” Notice that this time Moses had to cut out the stones and he had to do the engraving. Sometimes getting a “do over” means your second chance is still God’s will for you but it might not have the full measure of joy that doing it right the first time would have brought.
Because of the people’s sin and Moses’ anger over it, the blessing of having God’s best in the form of tablets that He, Himself created just for them was lost forever. Now they had to be content with Moses’ efforts of carving and engraving.
Getting a “Do over” from God is a direct blessing and a great example of His Grace and forgiveness. Every time we “Confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9. Every morning is a new day to greet God and thank Him for another chance to “do over”.
Won’t you take advantage of it today? It’s never too late and He is waiting to grant it but if you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it!
Dear Lord, So far today, I haven’t gossiped, lost my temper, ate a bag of chocolates or overdrawn my checking account. But, Lord, I’m about to get out of bed now and I really need your help to get through the day. So I’m asking ahead of time, when I do mess up, will you grant me a “Do over”, please? Thank you, Lord. Amen