Summary: Encouraging families to life in the will of God
BUILDING YOUR HOME ON THE WRONG
SIDE OF THE RIVER!
Nu 32:1 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle;
2 The children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spake unto Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and unto the princes of the congregation, saying,
3 Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon,
4 Even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle: (KJV)
INTRODUCTION: Where was God’s established land for all of Israel? The Land of Canaan.
The Jordan River established the entry point into the Promised Land – God had told them to go all the way into Canaan. This is such a parallel for many Christians of today.
I. THEY ALLOWED THEIR CATTLE TO DETERMINE WHERE THEY WOULD LIVE. Vs. 1
Nu 32:1 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle; (KJV)
The blessing God gave them caused them to stop following God. I have seen that happen so many times. God will bless a family, and then that family turn away from following God. They may still come to church, they may still tithe, but their heart is not in the matter. They grow cold and indifferent to the things of God. They keep themselves involved just enough to keep their social appearance in the church. They don’t want anyone to know their spiritual condition. When you let cattle or financial persuasions make your decision for you, you will make a great mistake.
Don’t let the grassy land determine God’s will for you. That job transfer may look like the only logical thing to do, but is it God’s will? Don’t let salary be the deciding factor. Too much of the time Christians allow the surroundings in life determine what they do in serving God. Every Christian should keep fresh in mind that all of our supply is to come from God.
These 2½ tribes must have been noticing for several days the grass and how attractive it was. The other 9½ tribes must have seen the same thing but it didn’t attract them as much. That would indicate that something was wrong with the thinking of the 2½ tribes. Their priority was their cattle. When one’s mind, heart, and life is carnal they will react carnally. Their decisions will be carnal. Carnal influence will weaken or even defeat the spiritual person. Don’t surround yourself with carnal people.
I have seen it happen so many times – the husband gets promoted and makes more money – so the family buys a couple of four-wheelers and now every weekend they are out four wheeling and not in church. Or they start traveling and sight seeing more. Too many use that extra money for personal – pleasure and not doing more for God.
Their unbelieving spirit told them that God could not provide grass on both sides of the river. Therefore this must be the place they should build their homes and settle down and raise their families. To make this decision they had to ignore all that Moses had instructed them.
That same kind of thinking is so prevalent today among so many Christians. God has brought them to a certain point in life, but all of a sudden they decide He can’t take them any further without their input and contribution. We seem to think that we have to help God out in making His decisions.
We need to just keep our hands off from what God does and let Him do it by Himself. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows what will happen day by day. He knows what your need for tomorrow will be. He already has it planned out and on the way to you, if you will allow Him to do so.
Don’t let your cattle, or your profession dictate to you where you will live. Determine first whether God wants you where you are, and after that is settled then decide what your profession will be. Does God want us to live here – then I will find a job here.
To these 2 ½ tribes the grass wasn’t as green on the other side as it was on their side. They did not see how God could possibly make grass grow on the other side as green as it was on this side. That was their downfall. I wonder, are there Christians with that same thinking here in this building today – don’t let your source or amount of income determine where you will live. Let God place you where He wants you.