Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh settle east of the Jordan; a summary of Israel's 40 years of wandering.
Verses for Today:
The country which the Lord smote (conquered) . . . is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle: Wherefore, said they . . . let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan (Num. 32:4-5).More than 40 years had passed since Moses, while still in Egypt, foretold that God would lead Israel to the land He had promised to Abraham. While moving toward the promised land, two of the twelve tribes, those of Reuben and Gad, which had a very great multitude of cattle (32:1), decided they would be better off if they remained on the eastern side of the Jordan.
They evidently believed they would have greater opportunity for material success in the plains and valleys of the Amorites than in the land God had chosen for them. So they said to Moses: Bring us not over Jordan (32:5). They were joined by half the tribe of Manasseh (32:33). Moses replied: Wherefore (Why) discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord hath given them? (32:7). Humanly speaking, it was a wise financial decision; but, spiritually, it was an act of compromise. The unity of the nation and being able to worship regularly in the presence of God at the Tabernacle should have been uppermost in their desires.
The two and one-half tribes typify self-indulgent Christians who, like the two and one-half tribes, allow worldly interests to influence them to neglect the Word of God. That is a slippery slope that will ultimately lead to eternal tragedies as the prophet foretold: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hos. 4:6).
The way God directs our lives seldom seems to be what we expect, but the spiritually-minded are primarily concerned with being in the perfect will of God. Some have suffered defeat because they chose their way instead of the way of God.
Christ is to be Lord of every Christian's life. Whatever the faults of the Church as we know it, the Church is Christ's Church and Christians are to be responsible members of a local body of believers. If we neglect the Church, we shall eventually drift into secular activities and a loss of spiritual treasures. Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. . . . For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matt. 16:24,26).
Thought for Today:
I will praise Thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned Thy righteous judgements (Ps. 119:7).
Through the promised land — filled with abundance, as well as protection, for those who live in harmony with His Word (Num. 33:50-54). I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
32:14 augment =increase; 32:39 dispossessed =drove out; 33:2 goings out =starting places; 33:52 pictures =carved figures that were objects of worship; quite pluck down =completely destroy; high places =places for idol worship.
Pray for Country: Australia (19 million) an island continent between the Indian and Pacific Oceans • Major languages: English and native languages • Religious freedom • 40% Protestant; 27% Roman Catholic; 3% Orthodox; 2% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for others by name (Luke 22:31-32).
Optional Reading: Luke 14
Memory Verse for the Week: Exodus 20