May 23, 2018

Numbers 32:1–5 (NLT) — 1 The tribes of Reuben and Gad owned vast numbers of livestock. So when they saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were ideally suited for their flocks and herds, 2 they came to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the other leaders of the community. They said, 3 “Notice the towns of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sibmah, Nebo, and Beon. 4 The Lord has conquered this whole area for the community of Israel, and it is ideally suited for all our livestock. 5 If we have found favor with you, please let us have this land as our property instead of giving us land across the Jordan River.”

I wonder sometimes if having too much keeps us from God’s best? It seems like this is what was happening with the people of Reuben and Gad. They had an abundance of livestock, not that there was anything wrong with having a lot of livestock, but because of all the livestock they were not willing to enter the Promised Land. The land that they were standing on looked better for raising livestock than what God had to offer.

It didn’t take much faith to stay on the East side of Jordan but it took great faith attain what God had to offer because on the other side of the Jordan they would have to fight for that land; and believe that God would give it to them! when a person doesn’t look through the eyes of faith and instead just views things from natural eyesight, what feels and looks good is not always good. For example:

Eve saw that the fruit was good and so she ate it. Now that fruit probably even tasted good but we all know that it wasn’t a good move. Lot saw land that was good for all of his livestock, ironically it was the same land that Rueben and Gad were now looking at, but as Lot found out the move wasn’t good for raising a family.

Like Eve, Lot, Rueben and Gad we can see things with our eyes that look good and in themselves they are not bad but they do us no good. We live in a society where it is okay to collect things. Most every room in our houses and garages are full so that we even rent storage lockers to store our stuff. We collect things that give us pleasure, make life easier and make us more comfortable. So much so that we are so involved with what we see and the ease of life that like Eve, Lot, Rueben and Gad we slowly lose our passion for the things of God. We are not as intent on becoming like Jesus. Holiness isn’t in front of us anymore. Others aren’t much of a concern because we are too concerned for ourselves. We help ourselves more than we help others.

Like Eve it is too hard to say no so without a fight so we just give in to the desires of the flesh. Like Lot we choose the best and leave the rest to others. Like Rueben and Gad we are satisfied with being saved so why should we go to places where there are enemies? We might actually have to fight to pursue holiness. We may have to flee youthful lusts. We might see someone who we could actually help. We are comfortable on our own block in the city.  Carving out time to feed on God’s word and spend time with Him in prayer becomes harder all the time because we have so many other things that we could do. Having too much has a way of changing our priorities and that is not good.

Ah but like Rueben and Gad we can change our minds, which they did later in the chapter. They decided to go and fight in the Promised Land to help attain it for the other tribes.

Have you gotten a bit complacent? Has your pursuit of godliness been more of a hobble? Are you more into comfort than commitment? Is the Sword of the Spirit a bit rusty? There is good news ahead. If you are still breathing it is not too late to pursue the Lord. It is not too late to stir up some passion for Jesus. After all he never lost his for you!

Hosea 10:12 (NLT) — 12 I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’

Be Inspired Hilltop!