After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai.
—Acts 7:30

Throughout Scripture, God’s plan for His people includes an intermission after their failure.

For example, the nation of Israel rebelled against God, so God let them be taken captive by the Babylonians. They spent 70 years in Babylonian captivity. That was their intermission before God allowed them to return to the Promised Land.

The apostle Peter experienced an intermission after he failed miserably. He denied Christ three times in the courtyard of the high priest. He had an intermission of seven weeks between the time that he denied Christ and the time he stood on the southern steps of the temple and preached at Pentecost, resulting in thousands of people being saved.

The apostle Paul experienced an intermission in the desert for three years. After his conversion from the greatest antagonist of the church to the greatest defender of the faith, God put him in the desert for three years where He taught Paul the great doctrinal truths he would spend the rest of his life proclaiming.

Perhaps the greatest example in the Bible of a God-imposed intermission is Moses. When we think about Moses, we tend to think about parting the Red Sea or receiving the Ten Commandments. Do you realize those events occurred after Moses was 80 years old? Those all happened as part of his second act in life.

The first 40 years of Moses’s life are compressed into the second chapter of Exodus. God preserved Moses from Pharaoh’s edict to slaughter Hebrew males and placed him into Pharaoh’s court. God had ordained that Moses would lead His people out of bondage into freedom. It appeared that God would accomplish that plan while Moses was part of Pharaoh’s household. But God didn’t use Moses’s successes to accomplish His purpose. Instead, He used Moses’s failure to bring about the exodus (Acts 7:23-29). In an instant Moses went from Pharaoh’s penthouse to the desert’s outhouse. His whole future changed. Suddenly he was in the desert, on the run. Can you imagine the thousand “if onlys” that must have flooded his mind? He thought his life was over, yet he didn’t realize that God was preparing him for his second act.

Moses was 40 when he failed. Then he spent the next 40 years in the wilderness in his intermission. He was age 80 when God appeared to him in the burning bush and said, “It’s time now for your second act.”

It’s never too late for the curtain to rise again.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Enjoy Your Intermission” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.