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God's Lamentations Over Man's Lost Opportunities
 
"To look back on the past, and see what we have missed, is a good lesson for the future." - Pulpit Commentary - Old Testament
 
"What might have been"
 
These have to be the saddest words ever spoken.
 
What might have been in your life - if only you would have...?
 
In the Scriptures, we find the Lord God Almighty lamenting over the loss that His people suffered. Their misfortune did not happen because He withheld from them His blessings. It happened because they would not listen and obey.
 
Read the following Scriptures and be especially mindful of the earnest desire and preference of God for His people. Don't miss the deep-seated grief...sighs and sobs...and mournful cries that you can hear as you read between the lines. Observe how God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance and be blessed. And lastly, see how eager He is to bless His children with the finest and the best of blessings.
 
Deuteronomy 5:29 says - "O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!"
Psalm 81:13-14 says - "Oh that My people had hearkened unto Me, and Israel had walked in My ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned My hand against their adversaries."
Isaiah 48:18 says - "O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea." 
 
Then, in Deuteronomy 32:29, we read the prophesy that Moses had for Israel - "O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!"
                                                                                                                                                        
In each verse, we can detect the grief and agony in God's heart over the disobedience of His people. Because they did not "fear Him" and "keep His commandments," it did not go well for them and their children. Because they did not hearken to what He commanded or approved of, they were constantly troubled, oppressed, and distressed by their enemies. Because they did not keep His laws, they missed out on His  "peace" - plenty or prosperity  - which was promised to flow continually without a break - night and day - generation after generation  Because they rebelled against His commands, they missed out on the inestimable benefits which are promised to abound to the utmost extent on all those who live holy and pure. And, because they "lightly esteemed the Rock of their salvation"(Deuteronomy 32:15) and disregarded their "latter end," they came under the severe judgment of Almighty God.
 
"What might have been"
 
The questions you need to ask yourself, O Saint of God, are these - is God lamenting over your lost opportunities? Is He saying about you - "O that there were such an heart in __________," ..."Oh that __________ had hearkened unto Me and walked in My ways,"..."O that __________ had hearkened to My commandments,"...or "O that _________were wise that __________would consider his or her latter end!"
 
"What might have been"
 
Are you one who worships God with fear and trembling...paying attention to His commands and obeying them...and walking in His ways? Do you listen and then do as He says? Can you see where you are headed? Can you see what's coming down the road? Do you realize what will happen to you if you continue onward in a walk of disobedience?
 
"What might have been"
 
...if I would have prayed...fasted...read my Bible every day...memorized Scriptures...praised God instead of murmuring...witnessed...paid my tithe or given that offering... stepped out in faith...waited for God's perfect timing...said "no" to sin...kept my mouth shut...not compromised on the job...not hung around with the wrong people...obeyed the Lord when He told me not to do what I was deadset on doing...etc...
 
"What might have been"
 
Is God lamenting over your lost opportunities?
 
Everything would have gone well for you and your children...He would have defeated your enemies with His mighty power...and His blessings would have flown like a stream that never runs dry or rolled in like the waves of the sea - if only you would have obeyed.
 
 "To look back on the past, and see what we have missed, is a good lesson for the future."
 
Even if you have lost some "golden" opportunities, God is a God of "new beginnings" and also the God of "a second chance." Repent of your wrongdoing, get up, and start all over again. Jesus will restore what has been lost. Determine from now on that you will do things His way.
 
Then get out of the way - for His blessings will surely overtake you like a rushing river or the waves of the sea!
 
May God Bless His Word.
Connie