Boxing is one game many decent minds disagree should be rightly called sport. The deliberate inflicting of injuries on one another in the quest for praise or payment can only appeal to the beastly instinct in man. But there is one lesson professional boxers are taught which is valuable for us all. They are taught not to retreat but to move forward when in the ring.
In our text, it was said of the children of Israel that they ‘set forward….’ The significance of the statement becomes clearer when it is recalled that they had just suffered a serious setback in their progress towards the Promised Land.
In their weariness as they matched from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, they murmured against God and Moses, discrediting the gracious provision of manna the Lord made for them. The righteous judgment of God came upon them for this. Fiery serpents got in their midst and bit many to death.
Upon their repentance and Moses’ intercession, the Lord pardoned them and initiated the remedy of the brazen serpent on which if any victim of the snake bite looked, he was cured. At this juncture in their journey, they probably would have felt reluctant to move on, at least for the time being. But they set forward!
Forward is upward and is the secret of success in every sphere of life. Apostle Paul was conscious of this when he wrote: ‘I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 3:13,14).
Their recall of God’s past goodness at this instance and their songs of victory indicate they made the most of the divine discipline.
Have you suffered a setback lately? Are you tempted to give up due to what you regard as high-handedness meted out to you? Are you weighed down by past experiences? Are you losing steam for the race? Take a cue from Israel, look up and set forward.
Thought for the day: Press forward, greater trophies lay ahead.