The tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh liked the lands and cities they had just captured from the Amorites and Midianites. The leaders approached Moses with an offer–Hey Moses, this has been fun and all, but really we would just as soon not cross the Jordan for our lands, these Lands that have already been cleared seem plenty fine for us! Moses almost went through the roof. After languishing in the desert for 40 years, these people thought they would just skip clearing the promised land??!!
In truth, this was a different people. They quickly made it clear to Moses–“We will build our cities here, but all the men who can fight–will cross over and clear the lands until all of Israel is placed in the lands for which they are promised. What a different attitude, men would leave wives and family to help their people–not the thinking of a slave. Moses was surprised and agreeable. Israel had a track record, however, of promising one thing and then doing another–so Moses made it clear. If you fail to keep your word your sin will find you out!
The great news is that they did as they promised. In Joshua 22 it reads,”Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh 2 and said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. 3 For a long time now—to this very day—you have not deserted your fellow Israelites but have carried out the mission the Lord your God gave you. 4 Now that the Lord your God has given them rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan. 5 But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
God only requires we walk as free people. Trust Him, honor Him and follow his leadership. If one is willing to do that, He will bless us far beyond our expectations. God gave the tribes the land they wanted and actually expanded Israel’s inheritance. That is what God wants to do in our lives as well. We simply need to trust Him, honor Him and follow the Lord. Then we can also walk as free people and claim the inheritance that awaits us!
God Bless You
The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. 2 So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, 3 “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon,Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon— 4 the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. 5 If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.”…
Then Moses said to them, “If you will do this—if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for battle 21 and if all of you who are armed cross over the Jordan before the Lord until he has driven his enemies out before him— 22 then when the land is subdued before the Lord, you may return and be free from your obligation to the Lord and to Israel. And this land will be your possession before the Lord.
23 “But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. 24 Build cities for your women and children, and pens for your flocks,but do what you have promised.”
25 The Gadites and Reubenites said to Moses, “We your servants will do as our lord commands.26 Our children and wives, our flocks and herds will remain here in the cities of Gilead. 27 But your servants, every man who is armed for battle, will cross over to fight before the Lord, just as our lord says.”