Weekly Inspiration


2012-07-29
Always be ready for second chances


 

Always be ready for a second chance in life!

In Exodus 2 : 11 – 3 : 10 we read the whole story about the mission and work of Moses. His life was however not free from controversy, he was very lucky to be still alive at the time of his calling. Moses was allowed a second chance. His second chance turned out to be the best part of his life and the most productive.

Moses killed an Egyptian man while the Hebrews were a slave nation in Egypt. His act was so severe he had to flee the land and ended up in a barren desert area. There, unemployed, penniless and devastated he sat at a watering hole hoping for some consolation and help. He lost so much, he couldn’t believe what happened to him, he was depressed, down and out.

Moses had a warm heart for his people and was passionate to see them released from their bondage. In a misplaced act of heroism to help one of his fellow countrymen he killed another man and committed an awful crime. After his mistake and criminal act he was exiled as a murderer and persona non grata in Egypt! He lost everything because he murdered somebody. In modern times Moses would have been detained in this foreign land, extradited by international law and jailed for life or executed in his country of origin. Moses was a cold blooded murderer there is no other way the describe him. He crossed the line overstepped his limits and transgressed in a very bad way

He had the world at his feet at the age of twenty eight. Unfortunately he blew it all in one act of rage and uncontrolled anger. In a single act of folly and stupidity he messed up his whole life! He had to leave his friends, his position, status, money and house and run for his life. He ended up in a foreign country unemployed and penniless with a criminal record. How bad can things be, for him possibly the lowest point in his existence? Who knows how many days he walked to get to a well where he could make contact with somebody? How long did it take him before he could relax and sit down to decide on his next move? It must have been very hard for him.

As a prince he would’ve had servants, beautiful quarters, and a salary. An official position would’ve been created for him and he surely could have married any beautiful girl in Egypt. He must have regretted his impulsive act many times. He was taught the Egyptian alphabet and trained in Egyptian wisdom, philosophy and science. All that was gone in one senseless act of violence. Since the day one of his own people saw him kill an Egyptian foreman, he had been running for his life.

Fortunately for Moses he was allowed a second chance! As a totally unemployed and poor man he met his future wife and family at a watering hole. Because of his good heart and noble character he helped some young women to water their flock. In a foreign country he decided to do good things and to be helpful to others. He decided to do something even if it was very little. When their father heard of this man, he called for him and welcomed him in his house. He was given Sippora as a wife and became part of a family again. In Ancient Eastern terms this alone is a miracle, no man will give his daughter to a poor stranger without family or kin. Moses’s family could not be traced or contacted but he was allowed to have a wife even when he had nothing. And what is worse, he was a criminal and a murderer

God and life are very good to us, we always are allowed second chances. Always be ready for a second chance and be sure not to squander it. Be ready and good, be patient and repentant, God will help you.

Thanks to this kind family, Moses could start a second life as a herdsman and employee of his father in law, who as it turned out, was a priest as well.

This chain of events brings to my mind something Jesus said to his disciples. They wanted to destroy a Samaritan town just because the inhabitants refused them entrance and help. Jesus looked at his disciples and reacted with shock at their request. He then said: “The son of man didn’t come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. Luke 9:56

 

God doesn’t want to destroy people, that is not how his mind works. He doesn’t want to destroy you! He wants to save and rescue you! If you messed up and took stupid decisions, there is no use in chastising yourself all the time and losing interest in life! While sulking many opportunities will just fly by without noticing. If you stay alert and watchful you will find a new life with new possibilities and exciting prospects! You have to grab every second chance with vigour and energy.  A Prophet once said the following: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed (by our mistakes), for his compassions never fail they are new every morning” Lamentations 3 : 22 – 23,

Every new day is a second chance, a new beginning! Every morning God’s compassion is brand new and with us! So look for second chances and grab them with both hands.

Jesus once met a woman who was accused of adultery and condemned to death by stoning. The doctors of religion brought her to him they wanted to hear what he had to say about her transgression. Jesus waited for a long time before he spoke. He was writing something on the ground, those who brought the woman to him, became uneasy and restless around him. In those days it was the custom to stone a woman who was found guilty of sleeping around. The people who testified against her and had first-hand knowledge of the crime would then throw the first stone.

The mob was convinced about the guilty verdict of this woman. They were there to execute the girl but first decided to add value to their case. They were waiting for Jesus’ answer and hoped to get a case against him as well. He spoke in a calm and clear voice, “Those of you who have no sin you can cast the first stone.” There was a long silence nobody in the crowd was without sin so they started to leave one by one. Eventually it was only Jesus and the woman, all the others left. Jesus then asked the girl, did nobody judge you? She said “No one”, so Jesus concluded “Nor do I” go and sin no more. This young woman was allowed a second chance!  John 8 : 1 – 11

 

Out of this incident it is clear again, Jesus doesn’t want to destroy you. He wants a better life for you, a productive life with hope and happiness! A life where you can mean something and enjoy it too. God didn’t plan miserable lives for anybody. Sometimes we go through very bad patches and make awful mistakes but what can we do? Life is hard, broken and imperfect, things will go wrong!

Think about David and his awful sin with Bathsheba and another murder but this time in a love triangle. Bathsheba and David were also allowed a second chance to rear a family with many delights and happy moments. When Bathsheba ended her time of mourning after her first born died, she became pregnant again. Solomon was born, he was an extremely bright child full of wisdom and piety, devoted to God and successful as the King of Israel. Bathsheba could see her son progress and soar to become the greatest king Israel has ever had. Her pain was healed through him and she could find closure from the incident with Uriah and David.

Moses, the brilliant prince from Egypt, now a herdsman in the desert, possibly sat there for numerous days thinking of his life. Is he going to die in the desert at an old age without achieving much? He working as a shepherd all his life with few friends and no stimulation? He probably forgot his dream to save his people or felt that it was impossible for him to still do it. He missed his friends in Egypt and all the good times they had together. He missed his tutors and longed to listen to their wisdom again. He was probably missing his horse, chariot, servants and house. In the desert he had nothing, he worked for his father in law he was tending the sheep of his father in law it was never his own. All these thoughts must have been on his mind all the time.

Fortunately God brought it all together. One day all his deeds, experiences, studies and work came together. He was called for a job, a very important job. He was called by God to become the leader of his slave nation, the nation of the Hebrews who were enslaved by the Egyptians.

Moses had accumulated all the knowledge and experience he needed to do this job. All this was part of his preparation and training to save his people from Egypt. He had many years of training in the desert. Tending his sheep in the wilderness helped him to get used to the desert, know every part of it. He learned to find his way in an unforgiving land and be prepared lead others through it as well. His knowledge of Egyptian language and customs helped him to engage with the Pharaoh and to understand how to go about bargaining with him. Everything he had to go through since his crime actually helped him and prepared him for a greater job. Everything that happened to him was put to service was turned around in a positive way. Every minus was turned into a plus. Nothing was wasted, nothing was redundant, everything happened for a greater purpose.

He eventually redeemed the Israelites from the Egyptians and led them into Israel after sojourning for 40 years in the desert.

His devotion to God and piety is still in great regard and a huge inspiration till this day. Moses went on to be not only a capable leader to his people but also an ordained spiritual leader and revered writer, many of his manuscripts are still read today.

If Moses kept on mourning his misfortune and stayed depressed because of what he had lost in life he would probably have died in the desert or be killed by a wild animal. He however chose to be of use in a foreign country and it paid off very well for him and for others. Through all of this he was slowly but carefully prepared to eventually go back and save his people. Moses was not defined by his wounds but by his gifts. That is why he could move on in life and do great things!

How about you my dear friend. Do you also believe that God works better a second time around in our life? Yes he does, he gives second chances, he actually gives them every day. He doesn’t want to destroy lives he want to save them. Keep on working and doing good things, all will eventually work out. Grab your second chance and go for it with all your energy and passion. Just be devoted and focused on whatever you can lay your hands on. Then see how things come together and fall into place! May God help you!

Amen

R.S.E. Erasmus



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