Friday, April 15, 2016
Wednesday night’s lesson covered parts of Numbers 31 and 32. Pastor covered quite a bit, but I want to focus on a request in chapter 32 by two Israeli tribes as they approach the land God promised to them.
Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle; . . . Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan. (Numbers 32:1, 5 KJV)
The plans were made. The twelve tribes would cross Jordan and subdue the land that God promised to them – even though the generation that received the promise had perished in the 40 years journey in the wilderness. The tribal leaders for Reuben and Gad looked around them, saw how good it was for their cattle and decided they would just stay where they were.
Moses chided them:
And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them? (Numbers 32:6-7 KJV)
He went into detail as to why they journeyed in the wilderness and basically told them they were repeating their fathers’ rebellion against God’s will. Apparently he convinced them, for they promised that they would fight with their brethren for the land, but when finished, they would return to this east of Jordan land. This was acceptable – if they kept their word. If not, Moses said:
But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. (Numbers 32:23 KJV)
I’ve heard that last part for years – and had not paid attention to where it was in the Bible. I thought it was for everyone who sinned – and they would not be able to keep their sin hidden any more than I could hide my disobedience from my parents.
Studying in context, there’s more than just being discovered – it’s passing up what God has in store, settling for what looks very good right now instead of moving forward. At least Moses was able to impress upon them that if they did not assist the remaining tribes, they could lose what they wanted.
But – they couldn’t see past what they wanted. And, I wondered what I passed up in the past. Doesn’t really matter now, and no one will be interested in my “I could have been . . .” Neither am I. I know where I am and how I got here. By the grace of God, I’ve learned that Paul’s type of contentment is good. I am content in that I know I am now in the place God wants me to be. That provides a great deal of peace for me.
No, I don’t have all I want. Not hardly. I do have enough to be eternally grateful for what the Lord has provided, to thank Him daily and to speak of Him every opportunity. And I appreciate the lessons He provides through examples thousands of years ago, applicable today.
That’s one reason I encourage the reading of His word, receiving His messages.