To understand why Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh had made a bad decision when they asked to remain at the East side of the Jordan, we need to read Numbers 32.
In that chapter, we read that they had a great number of livestock. When they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, they thought that it was a great place for their cattle and decided to ask for that land as their inheritance.
Moses realized that it wasn´t a good idea and was afraid that the 12 tribes would decide to stay om this side of the Jordan, instead of crossing and conquering the land like God had commanded. So, he agreed to their request, but made a pact with them. They had to fight with the rest of the tribes on the other side of the Jordan and then cross back to their inheritance at the East of the Jordan.
As we´ll see later in the book of Joshua, this might have been a good decision for the cattle, but it certainly was a really bad one for tfuture generations. Their location made them extremely vulnerable, and they were soon exposed to ungodly influence which would eventually lead to their exile by the Assyrians (1 Chronicles 5:25-26).
“These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations; I also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring their fears upon them, because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight.” – Isaiah 66:3-4
When we become “borderline believers,” our soul is in constant danger of seeking a worldly life instead of a godly life.
These tribes decided to obey God their way and under their own terms. They were seeking comfort and made their decision based on what they saw.
God has great plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). He has designed wonderful works for us (Ephesians 2:10). But still we think we know better than God. Instead of accepting willingly what He has for us, we tend to make other plans.
One of the first lessons I learned when I became a Christian is that there is no more dangerous place to be than out of God´s will. It may look comfortable or easy or “good for our cattle,” but by choosing this place, we will miss what God has in store for us.
I want God to delight in my life. This has taken me to places I wouldn´t have chosen myself. If I thought only of my well-being or my own comfort, I would have never chosen to stay in Venezuela. It´s a land of scarcity and uncertainty and, certainly, it´s not the place I would have chosen to raise my family.
But, as dangerous or as uncomfortable as it may be to human standards, it´s the place where God wants us to live and thrive and serve Him. Leaving the country without God directing us to do so would be a bad decision.
Being fully obedient to God´s commands is not always easy. But we have to know that when we are doing His will, He takes care of us in ways we never thought He would.
Take some time today to see where you are. Is it the place where God wants you to be? Or are you in the border line of His will?
Content in His service,