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June 2 – Sin and grace at the boundary

It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-Barnea. – Deut. 1:2

Scripture reading: Deut. 1: 1-8

Just as the boundary is an opportunity for reflection on God’s instruction, so it is an opportunity for reflection on sin and grace. The first generation of Israel had forgotten the grace of God. They had walked through the Red Sea, eaten manna and heard the very voice of God at Mt. Sinai. Despite this, Israel rebelled against God at Kadesh-Barnea. They were afraid of the giants in the land. Moses’ statement that it only takes 11 days to journey from Horeb to Kadesh-Barnea is a reminder that, due to their sin, it took Israel 40 years to enter Palestine instead of a couple of weeks. Now Israel is there. Her new position is a testament to the grace of God.

We are the same, forgetting God’s mercies and lapsing into apathy. This can produce long periods of failure: our wilderness. These sins have consequences in our families and our churches that sometimes can last over generations. Despite our folly, God is gracious. Even before Israel was ready to enter the Promised Land, God was beginning to give her victories. God destroyed Sihon and Og through Israel. If we look back at our wilderness, we will see that God has already been working in our times of wandering.

Boundaries are an opportunity for us to remember lost opportunities and failures, to remind us to watch and pray, to guard our hearts and to remember we are here by God’s grace. When we remember that and turn to God, He provides. He will renew and strengthen you.

Suggestions for prayer

Meditate on how God has worked in your life. Thank Him for how He has shown His grace. Express your confidence in His work as you look to the future.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. James Zekveld is the pastor of the Ambassador Canadian Reformed Church In Niverville, MB.

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