There is a verse that I have heard quoted for as long as I can remember, yet the context of this verse is rarely shared along with it. It was spoken by Moses to the tribes who wanted to settle on the east side of the Jordan River.
"But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out."
The Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Mannaseh had asked to settle in land that would be good for them, yet it was land found on the east side of the Jordan. However, the promise lay on the west side.
Moses was understandably upset and compared them to the original group of people who discouraged the entrance to the Promised land at the beginning of their journey. How dare they just get comfortable where they were while their fellow tribes went forward to fight for their inheritance?
What these tribes did is so encouraging to me. While I wonder why they chose to settle instead of going all the way, I am amazed at what they did for the rest of the people. They fought for them. The men armed themselves and stepped into the promise, but not to take what was theirs. They battled for their brothers.
They had committed to going to war for all Israel until the land was taken; only then could they return to their wives and children on the other side of the Jordan. Should they back down from their commitment, their sin would find them out.
What I am gleaning from this today is the thought of stepping in and stepping up...remembering that life is better spent in the service of someone else. I am not focusing on the fact that they "settled" today, rather on the choice they made to fight alongside their brothers for an inheritance of which they would never partake. Selflessness.
May we choose today to strap on our armor to battle for our brothers and sisters, knowing that the Lord Himself battles for us.
Father, I don't want to don the armor You have given me to just fight for what I think is mine. Help me to lay down my life for others as You did. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Numbers 32, Joshua 1:12-18, Joshua 22:1-9, John 15:13, Exodus 14:14