MARCH 10 READINGS…Numbers 32:1-33:56.
As the time for the Israelites moves closer to enter the promise land, two of the tribes, Gad and Reuben, decide that they wanted to stay on the eastside of the Jordan River. They wanted their land assignment to be there, rather than on the westside of the river. This request initially makes Moses angry as he sees it in much the same spirit as what had happened forty years earlier when the people had refused to enter the promise land because of fear. Fear is dangerous in the life of followers of Jesus…decisions made in fear are not made from a sound mind. Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 1:7…”For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” The Israelites responding in fear rather than in faith caused them to wander for forty years, and for those who were twenty years and older to miss the promise land. Fear will always cause us to miss the wonderful things that God has for us…we need to be a people who walk in faith, not in fear. The two tribes told Moses that they were not refusing to go in and conquer the land, but wanted to stay on the eastside of the Jordan…they would go in with the other tribes, and even lead the way in conquering the land and driving out the inhabitants. Moses agree to do this…but warned them to keep their promise.
Moses recounts the Israelites travels through the wilderness for their forty years of wandering. They were on the westside of the Jordan across from Jericho. Moses would not be going into the land with them, but he would give them their instructions for going into the land. We are a day away from starting the book of Deuteronomy, where we will read Moses’ final instructions to the nation of Israel before his death. His orders to the people as they entered the land of promise was to drive those who inhabited it, and to destroy all the graven images and pagan shrines. This land belonged to the Lord, and He was giving it to the nation of Israel…He wanted it clean. The Lord wants us clean also…there is no room the Lord and for idols in our lives. God will not share His place with anyone or anything else. We are called to love God with every fiber of our being…and to worship Him only.
Please share any thoughts or insights you have from today’s readings.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Numbers 34:1-Numbers 36:13.