Did you notice the complete change of thought in this chapter after the debacle of the last chapter? How can God go from wrath to grace so easily? The answer is forgiveness. It is the go-between of wrath and grace, because it allows us to unload those weights that hold us back so we can move forward with our lives and our relationships. God has determined that He will focus on the next generation of Israelites and prepare them for entry into the Promised Land. Yes, the previous generation is still around, but they will all die over the next forty years leaving Joshua and Caleb to lead the people into victory in the land promised to them through Abraham. Can we forgive that easily? We can, but it takes a boatload of grace and mercy to do so. We cannot expect people to pay for hurting us or for taking something valuable from us; instead, we must offer unconditional grace that forgives and forgets the wrongs done to us. Make no mistake: God fully expects us to learn from those experiences and even step away from those who hurt us, but we cannot give up or quit on our walk with Him. I know the hurt does not go away that quickly, but the anger can. Will you allow forgiveness to rule your life today no matter how great the heartache or pain?

Help me, Lord, to let go of anything and everything that stops me from walking closely with You. Help me to forgive as You forgave and learn the lessons You are teaching me.