The Lord gave Rueben, Gad and Manasseh lands on the east side of the Jordan River. That land was separated from the rest of the nation. Even when assigned, God and Moses were concerned that the peoples of those tribes would settle in their land and act as though reclaiming the inheritance of the rest of the nation was not their problem. Fortunately, these free people lived and acted as part of the family of Israel. They left their lands, crossed the Jordan and spent years clearing the rest of the nation with their fellow travelers.
It came time to go home. The land was now cleared, the peoples settled and these tribes had obeyed everything that the Lord and Joshua had commanded of them. There can be no better testimonial than Joshua’s statement—“You have done as Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you, and you have obeyed every order I have given you. During all this time you have not deserted the other tribes. You have been careful to obey the commands of the Lord your God right up to the present day!”
Now, Joshua was sending the people home to rest. In his wisdom, he reminded them that as the pressure was off and they were going to settle in their new homes, they had to remain faithful and obey God and trust him. It was critical for them since they would no longer be with the rest of the nation and would no longer have to depend upon God for their daily rations. Comfort can breed complacency. Complacency can breed pride and pride is the beginning of moving away from God and toward self-sufficiency. Joshua knew this truth—but, he also knew that these people would have to make their own choice now–to follow, since they were no longer walking with the group.
It is much the same today. When we are in the midst of trial and spiritual war—we more easily depend upon God for our daily needs. But, when things become calm and life becomes more manageable—rather than becoming grateful, we often become complacent, proud and self-sufficient. When we are not in a fellowship with other believers, it is easy to drift away from God and forget all he has provided. So, it is critical we remain with the family of believers and obey the leadership of the Lord—especially in times of comfort and rest. If we fail to do so, we stand to lose everything our journey and our Lord has provided.
God Bless You
Then Joshua called together the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. 2 He told them, “You have done as Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you, and you have obeyed every order I have given you. 3 During all this time you have not deserted the other tribes. You have been careful to obey the commands of the Lord your God right up to the present day. 4 And now the Lord your God has given the other tribes rest, as he promised them. So go back home to the land that Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you as your possession on the east side of the Jordan River. 5 But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.” 6 So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went home.