My church is involved in a Read your Bible through in a year plan. Right now I'm in Numbers. I'll be honest the book of Numbers is at times hard to get through. Yet, I found an important nugget in Numbers during my study this morning. Please read Numbers chapter 32.
A little background this time period is right before the Hebrews are to go in and conquer the Promised Land. We have two tribes Reuben and Gad that are looking with earthly eyes. They see the land they just conquered from Midian and it looks pretty good to them. So, they ask Moses can we have this land it looks great. Now these people had not yet seen the Promised Land so they didn't even know what could be their land.
Several important things we can learn from this chapter.
1. The tribes of Reuben and Gad were pretty selfish. They wanted the land and at first were not going to join the fight to take the promised land.
2. They have a limited vision. In other words, they weren't willing to wait to see what they would get in the future; they wanted what they could see right now.
3. The tribes were repeating the sins of their fathers. They wanted to take a known and not wait for an unknown.
4. Moses makes them promise they will fight and then says they can have the land that they want. So, Moses with God's direction gives them what they want. God often gave them Hebrews what they wanted even when it wasnt best for them. The Hebrews would then realize they made a mistake and repent.
So, what does all of this have to say to us? The tribes of Reuben and Gad settled for land they could see instead of the Promised Land that was in the future that could have been so much better. They were not willing to wait for the best land. As CWMs how many times do we stop early before God's complete plan is revealed? We settle for something that is good enough, but not best. I want to make it clear that I'm not talking prosperity gospel here. Prosperity gospel means you pray God will bless you financially. What I'm talking about is you may have been struggling for some time in an issue and you give up trusting God right before His solution is provided. The Hebrews had been wandering for 40 years and they are just about to cross into the Promised Land filled with everything they would need and these tribes stop just short and settle for what is seen and good enough.
Also, these tribes did not learn from the past. How many times does God have to teach you a lesson more than once before you get it? These tribes still did not get it.
Another important lesson from this chapter for us today is these tribes were interested in worldly possessions and wealth. They thought that was the best land and wanted to get "first dibs". They got their wish, but the Promised Land could have been greater in so many ways.
Here are some questions for all of us to consider:
1. Am I settling on certain issues right now instead of trusting God for a greater plan that He has?
2. Do I try to get ahead of God and figure it out for myself? (The tribes of Reuben and Gad thought they knew better than God).
3. Are my eyes focused on treasures of earth instead of laying up treasures in heaven?
4. Am I trusting God and His plan for my life?
5. Am I a woman of my word? Moses made sure the tribes kept their oaths.
There are even more lessons we could learn from this important passage of Scripture. For me I see clearly in this Scripture that if we wait on God's plan it will surprise and astound us in so many ways. When the world sees how Christians "do" things often we look like fools, because it makes no sense. The Reuben and Gad tribe found some really good land so they snapped it up. I'm sure it could have looked "foolish" to wait to see what was behind Door B. Our world wants instant answers and fixes. God most often doesn't work that way. In our waiting we grow by leaps and bounds. So, are we settling for less than best from God? May we all wait on His plan for us and not try to jump ahead of Him.
Please share what you learned from this study as well. We can all learn from one another.