Read Numbers 32 -- 33
In Today's Reading:
Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh settle east of the Jordan; a summary of Israel's 40 years in the wilderness
More than 40 years had passed since Moses, while still in Egypt, foretold that God would lead the Israelites to the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. While moving with great anticipation toward the fulfillment of that promise, and almost in view of the promised land, two of the twelve tribes, those of Reuben and Gad, who had a very great multitude of cattle (Numbers 32:1), decided they would be better off financially if they remained on the eastern side of the Jordan. So, they said to Moses: The country which the LORD smote (conquered) before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and your servants have cattle: Wherefore, said they . . . let this land be given to your servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan (32:4-5). Moses replied: Wherefore (Why) discourage (frustrate, restrain) . . . the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD has given them? (32:7). The two tribes were joined by half the tribe of Manasseh. Humanly speaking, it was a wise financial decision; but spiritually, it was an act of compromise. The unity of the nation and being near the Tabernacle with the presence of God should have been uppermost in their desires.
History records that they gradually became involved in idol worship and ignored the Lord's instructions: These words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: And you shall teach them diligently to (impress them upon) your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the posts of your house, and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
These tribes typify self-indulgent "Christians" who foolishly allow physical advantages to be their first consideration. They stand as a warning to those whose business interests, social advancements, or attainment of prominence are chosen over how they can best serve the Lord. Some who claim to be Christians are consumed with worldly pursuits that keep them from giving their time and/or tithes to the Lord. Then said Jesus to 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? (Matthew 16:24,26).
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 = the places for idol worship.
As our promised land — filled with abundance, as well as protection, for those who live in harmony with His Word (Numbers 33:50-54). I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
Government Official: Rep. Jeff Miller (FL) · Country: Taiwan, Republic of China (22 million) 77 islands off the southeastern coast of Red China · Major language: Mandarin Chinese · Religious freedom · 70% Chinese folk-religions/Buddhism; 3% Protestant; 1.5% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Remember that one of the purposes of prayer is to glorify God (Psalm 115:1).
Optional Reading: Luke 14
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:11