“Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of livestock; and when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that indeed the region was a place for livestock, the children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spoke to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the leaders of the congregation, saying, ‘Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Shebam, Nebo, and Beon, the country which the Lord defeated before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.’ Therefore they said, ‘If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession. Do not take us over the Jordan.” (Numbers 32:1-5)
When the Israelites left Egypt, they were aware that they had to journey to a land promised to their forefathers. They weren’t meant to live anywhere else. God specifically wanted them to travel through the desert. The desert is where you learn about yourself; there, you can count on no one else but God. You live in total dependence on Him. But this is where many people fail, because their faith is emotional/religious. They become like those who doubted God. He swore to Moses that they would not enter the Promised Land.
The journey was supposed to last three years, but it lasted 40 years because that doubtful generation had to die in the desert. We currently live in the desert here on earth, which is why many Christians face hardships.
“Heaven is the Promised Land. Being in the desert keeps us in faith and on fire. Paul said we should thank God in everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Look at hardships positively. The tribe of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh approached Moses and told him about how much they had prospered in the desert. They requested to stay behind instead of crossing the Jordan River. Some people have faith to prosper in the desert, which is not wrong, but they become accommodated with their victories.
They put all their strength into achieving blessings, but forget the main goal: salvation (the Promised Land). They despise it and become relaxed in their spiritual lives until their connection with God breaks.
God goes to the bottom of the list. Moses granted the tribes’ request because they insisted. But later on they were defeated by kings, taken as slaves and their whereabouts now remains a question mark in Israel’s history. Prioritise your soul above all else.
God bless you.
Bishop Randal Brito