A Desire to Settle // Numbers 32:1-15
The Idol of Comfort (32:1–5)
The Reubenites and Gadites have accumulated sizable herds and flocks, so when they see that the conquered lands of Jazer and Gilead are good for grazing, they ask Moses and the other leaders if they can settle there. Moreover, they specifically request, “Do not make us cross the Jordan,” suggesting that they would prefer to settle safely in these lands without having to face the battles that await them in Canaan. Their request seems to be motivated by their desire for comfort and prosperity rather than faith in the LORD’s promises. Sometimes, even the good things that God provides can become idols when we being to value them above God Himself.
The Dangers of Greed (32:6–15)
Moses responds to the Reubenites and Gadites with a strong rebuke, calling them a “brood of sinners” (v. 14). He questions their motivations and challenges their selfish desire for comfort: how can they sit comfortably on this side of the Jordan while their brothers go out to war? Even worse, their actions could discourage the Israelites from moving forward and claiming the promises of God in Canaan. This is the danger of greed. When we seek more for ourselves, we find it difficult to make sacrifices for the sake of others. Focusing only on our own desires blinds us toward the needs of those around us and can have devastating effects on our community.
– When was the last time you let your worldly desires rather than the promises of God dictate your decisions? Remember that this world is not our home. Live in light of the eternity that awaits you.
– How can you practice putting the needs of others above your own? How does Jesus’ example help you to do this?
A LETTER TO GOD:
Father, thank you for showing me the dangers of living for comfort and material gain. Teach me to delight in You and trust in Your promises. I want my life to be a great blessing to those around me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.