“Moses answered the families of Gad and Reuben: “Do you mean that you are going to leave the fighting that’s ahead to your brothers while you settle down here? Why would you even think of letting the People of Israel down, demoralizing them just as they’re about to move into the land God gave them? Numbers 32:6- 7
The families of Reuben and Gad requested that they might settle on the east side of the Jordan River and not go into Canaan, the land promised to Israel. They found this region favorable for raising cattle, and they had many cattle. In addition, this land called the land of Jazer had already been conquered by Israel. The Reubenites and Gadites preferred that this be their inheritance and presented their desire to Moses. The problem with their request is, instead of being committed to what God has promised they were contented with the present accomplishment, simply because of their selfish reasons. The preferred present satisfaction to future expansion.
Our text is the response Moses gave them in a different translation, “Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?” It would not be just for Reuben and Gad to settle in a territory already subdued by God and the armies of Israel, and to leave their brethren to engage in a war with their enemies without assisting them. Moses also saw the danger of this causing the remainder of the tribes to be discouraged. “And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them?” The two tribes offered to build fences for their cattle and cities to protect their families, and the men of war would go over Jordan and fight .
Contentment is not just the enemy of Christ and the cross, but also the enemy of the church. The question Moses presented to Reuben and Gad could well be asked of many of God’s children today, “Shall ye sit here?” How is it that Christians are content to let others do their fighting for them? Faithful saints have preceded us and have provided us with great spiritual opportunities. It is not reasonable that we would let others engage in spiritual conflict while we engage in leisure and commerce, enjoying time with family and friends, while avoiding sacrifice and service. Moses told his fellow Israelites that their negligence and inconsideration would greatly discourage the remainder of their brethren. The same is true today. Those who are unwilling to serve and engage in kingdom expansion discourage those who do.However, God’s calling us not to contentment but to commitment. It is not whether we like something, want something, or need something; it is about pleasing someone (God).
I Declare: Lord I decree and declare that I am not settling for anything less than what you have promised me no matter how easy they come by. I will keep pursuing your will for my life until I enter into your rest for me. I am committed to your will above my contentment.
Ignite Thought: God calls us to the field to work not to the pew to rest!