Then Moses told these words to all the children of Israel, and the people mourned greatly.
And they rose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, “Here we are, and we will go up to the place which the Lord has promised, for we have sinned!”
Some people are more attuned to opportunities than others. A youngster came home from selling Christmas cards one day. “How much did you make today?” his father asked. “Fifty dollars!” replied the young man. “Why, that’s excellent,” responded his father.
“How many homes did you call on?” “Just one,” the boy replied, “but their dog bit me.” While we can’t condone his approach, this fellow certainly knew an opportunity when he saw one.
Unfortunately, Israel didn’t. God gave them a wonderful opportunity. If they would obey Him and enter the land He had promised, He would take care of all the obstacles. God promised to fight for them. Chariots of iron and fortified cities were no problem for Him.
The Israelites’ reaction, however, was to dig in their heels and refuse to obey. Later, after they realized their sin, it was too late.
When they went out to do battle, Moses and the Ark of the Covenant, the symbol of God’s presence in their midst, stayed in the camp. As a result, “the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah” (Num. 14:45).
By delaying their obedience, they missed their opportunity and were doomed to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.
If the Lord is calling you to do something, don’t delay. Doors of opportunity close as well as open. By failing to obey at once, you may lose the possibility to obey at all. Be sensitive to God’s leading, and follow it without reservation.
DELAYED OBEDIENCE IS ONLY ANOTHER FORM OF DISOBEDIENCE.