We all make mistakes in life, or find ourselves in difficult situations. Life is not just “ringa-ringa-rosie” – sooner or later “we-all-fall-down.” In the words of Hannah Montana “Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days, everybody knows what I talking ‘bout, everybody gets that way.”
We ALL Make Mistakes
Even the most wonderful characters in scripture made mistakes.
- Moses wanted to help the people of God and killed a man, he had to make a run for it.
- Joseph bragged to his brothers that one day he would lead them, and they promptly sold him off in slavery.
- Elijah couldn’t handle the stress of Jezebel anymore and made a run for it, finding himself far away under a broom tree.
- Jonah didn’t like what God wanted him to do and found himself a whale.
- David, got comfortable, hung out on the roof, sinned with Bathsheba and then sinned more to cover up his sin, getting himself in a nice fine mess.
- Rahab had been living a life of prostitution for years and now God and his people were camping outside Jericho, everybody was going to die.
In all of their lives there was something that brought them up short to help them realize that they were going in the wrong direction or in a bad place.
Have you been brought up short by a mistake?
You were going along just fine and then realised you have been going the wrong way. You have made a mistake that you cannot undo. But if you are anything like me, when you thought about it, you were the one who made a mess of things.
It makes me feel better that in ALL the above stories, when the characters stopped and looked at their lives, they themselves had been the ones’ who made a mess of it.
- Sometimes the mess is very public. Moses, decided to do things his own way and intervene in the plight of his people “He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” (Ex 2:11-12) Next thing, everybody in Egypt knows what he has done and Pharaoh is looking to kill him, he is fleeing to Midian, taking care of sheep in the back of the desert.
- The mess is the result of our own pride or foolishness. Perhaps it was the coat of many colors, or being his father’s favorite or focusing too much on the dreams he had, but if Joseph had just kept his mouth shut and never told his brothers: “your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it,” (Gen37:7) perhaps his brothers would never have sold him into slavery.
- Perhaps we fell down because we are tired and weary, like Elijah, who has just slaughtered 400 Baal prophets and one message from Jezebel has him running and he feels like “I have been very zealous for the Lord….. I am the only one left and now they are trying to kill me too.” (1 Kings 19:14)
- Jonah must have wondered about his mess, sitting in the guts of a whale, the smell alone would have had him thinking: “How did I land up here?” Only then did he realize his own disobedience to the instructions of the Lord. How he made other things more important than obeying the Lord (Idolatry). So he says “What I vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9)
- David thought he had got away with his sin, it was all a big secret. He never considered that his sin would have consequences until the Lord sent Nathan to speak to him. Only then did he repent. But much as he confessed, he still had to live with the consequence of his sin, the mess he created meant that his child died. (2 Sam 12)
- We don’t know how Rahab became a prostitute, but we know she did have family. As a result of her lifestyle, she lived on the edge of society, in the city wall, one step away from complete rejection. Now God’s people camped outside and she had heard about what this God can do, everybody was afraid. She also knew how she lived her life, there was a good chance she would be killed along with all her people.
But we serve a God that is all about making a new start.
- Nature: There is a new day after a dark night. A spring after a winter. A seed after death. Out of droughts come new growth. In desserts, we find streams. Nature shows us that God makes new starts in nature.
- Salvation: Is all about making a new start. Out of sin, ruled by death, we are given life in Jesus, eternal life. Accepting Jesus and turning away from our old life, to embrace the new life (2 Cor 5:17) is all about making a new start in life.
- Jesus life: In all his dealings with people while he was on earth, He did not just come to teach the truth and die on the cross, many people received a new start. He healed the sick, raised the dead, strengthened the lame, gave sight to the blind, straitened the crooked, set the captive free, and fed the hungry. All these people had a new start. The words “go and sin no more” was the “ready, set, go” to a new start. He took individuals and groups of people and set them in a new direction for their lives.
- In God’s dealings with us: Both in scripture and even in our lives, we have had that experience of making a new start. People who have had their lives totally destroyed, have been able, with the help of Jesus, to make a new start and totally turn their lives around.
This new season that is coming, could be your new start.
No matter how badly we mess up, with God on our side, we can at any time make that new start.
2 Sam 22:21 MSG “God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him. When I cleaned up my act, he gave me a fresh start.”
Lord, I have made a mess of my life. I can see this mess when I look at… Please forgive me Lord. Help me to fix my heart and my eyes on You. Be the King of my life, my first help, the one I go to for guidance. Cause my faith to grow and help me to listen to You and follow You. Help me to obey that which I have clearly understood is required of me. Help me to make a new start.