Living With Regret

Gordon continued our series from Deuteronomy, giving us some thoughts on leadership through one of the most regrettable experiences of Moses’s life.

Regret is a common experience for us. Gordon explained that it starts with something good but then a bad choice, harsh words or missed events leave us with disappointment. There seems to be a clear pivotal moment but when we look carefully there is more to it. At least six times in the book of Deuteronomy a pivotal moment in Moses’s life is mentioned. The impact of this is far reaching.

“AT THAT TIME I PLEADED WITH THE LORD: ‘SOVEREIGN LORD, YOU HAVE BEGUN TO SHOW TO YOUR SERVANT YOUR GREATNESS AND YOUR STRONG HAND. FOR WHAT GOD IS THERE IN HEAVEN OR ON EARTH WHO CAN DO THE DEEDS AND MIGHTY WORKS YOU DO? LET ME GO OVER AND SEE THE GOOD LAND BEYOND THE JORDAN – THAT FINE HILL COUNTRY AND LEBANON.’”

Deuteronomy‬ 3:23-25

Moses died with the regret of never entering the final destination of their journey.

The pivotal moment for Moses was when he disobeyed God by hitting the rock and not speaking to it to bring forth the miraculous supply of water.

Gordon shared Brad Hambrick’s summary of what led to this event in Moses’s life. From this Gordon drew out four main thoughts.

  1. Moses allowed familiarity to breed contempt.
    Moses had witnessed many miracles, many had involved his staff. In his familiarity he dramatically uses his staff to hit the rock, like he had before, rather than listening to God’s command and obeying.
    Are we becoming casual in our obedience? Are we listening carefully and obeying the Lord in everything?
  2. Moses turned his frustration into his own campaign.
    Moses’s anger, which caused him to hit the rock, was fuelled by the people’s ongoing grumbling. They were ultimately grumbling about God but for Moses it becomes about himself and causes his reaction.
    Are we equally self-centred in our reactions? When life is hard, do we take things personally and lash out in defence of ourselves? Do we need to lift our eyes to the Lord and take in the bigger picture?
  3. Moses forgot his job was to lead a people for God.
    In his disobedience Moses did not lead the people in a God-honouring way. This did not mean that God did not use him. Through his repentance he points the people to God.
    What is our attitude when we fail and have regrets? Are we pointing others to God through our obedience and our repentance of our disobedience?
  4. Moses’s life was far more than his story.
    This regrettable act of Moses does not define his life. Ultimately he is not a failure as we see in Hebrews chapter 11. Moses’s hope was always in God and his life points to Jesus, the greater Moses.
  • Do we live in light of our regrets or are we trusting in Jesus?
  • Do we recognise that Jesus is our hope? He lived the life we couldn’t live. He paid the price for our sin so we could be forgiven.
  • Do we have the right perspective on our regrets?
Naomi Jones

Naomi Jones

Hi, I’m Naomi and I am a missionary sent from Windsor to serve in South Africa with SIM. I’ve been in SA since 2004. Although I’m physically far away most of the time, I really appreciate being able to connect with my sending church through zoom and live streaming. Having this connection is a real blessing to me.
Naomi Jones
Hi, I’m Naomi and I am a missionary sent from Windsor to serve in South Africa with SIM. I’ve been in SA since 2004. Although I’m physically far away most of the time, I really appreciate being able to connect with my sending church through zoom and live streaming. Having this connection is a real blessing to me.