This morning I read Deuteronomy 1 to 4 and took note of something that I had never realized concerning the decisions made by leaders. It began in chapter 1 as I was reading God’s instructions to His people. Here is what God told the Israelites to do:
Deuteronomy 1:21 Look! He has placed the land in front of you. Go and occupy it as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!’
BUT, here is what actually happened:
Deuteronomy 1:22-24 “But you all came to me and said, ‘First, let’s send out scouts to explore the land for us. They will advise us on the best route to take and which towns we should enter.’ This seemed like a good idea to me, so I chose twelve scouts, one from each of your tribes. They headed for the hill country and came to the valley of Eshcol and explored it.”
Here’s what I saw for the first time…..Moses said, “This seemed like a good idea to me.” Moses listened to the people over God’s voice. We know the result of that decision….the people got afraid because of the report of the spies, ended up wandering in the wilderness for years and were not able to enter the Promised Land at all. All because of one decision by one leader who decided to listen to his people instead of God.
So I continued reading and then noticed something else. As the Israelites ‘passed through’ countries in their wanderings, some leaders would allow them to pass through. They would benefit from this decision because they were paid for whatever food and water was used (see 2:6). But some countries refused to let them pass and what was the end result? Those countries were wiped out! Every man, woman, and child was killed (see 2:34 and 3:6). So the decisions made by the heads of those countries resulted in either blessings or annihilations for their people!
Likewise, the decisions being made by the leaders of our country will result in consequences for ‘the people’. That’s why, no matter your political preference, it’s important to pray for our leaders. We don’t have to agree with their political leanings to pray. We don’t even have to like them to pray. But pray we must! Because their decisions affect our future and the futures of our children and grandchildren.
Are you praying? As we saw with Moses, even God’s chosen leader made a mistake that negatively affected the lives of God’s people. Wonder what would have happened if the Israelites had been praying rather than complaining?