A Flashback of Unbelief (Numbers 32)

Numbers 32:14 And, behold, ye are risen up in your fathers’ stead, an increase of sinful men, to augment yet the fierce anger of the Lord toward Israel.

The nation of Israel is on the verge of entering the Promised Land. They have been through a lot. Their journey has been made more difficult and painful through their own stubbornness and unbelief. But they have made it, after 40 years of wandering and waiting for a whole generation to die out. Yet as they prepare to enter in, Moses has a terrible flashback, brought on by the children of Reuben and Gad.

They ask to remain on the wrong side of Jordan and to not go into the Canaan. On the surface, it was an innocent request, but Moses knows that suggestions like this are tantamount to outright rebellion, the type of rebellion that caused God to be very angry and caused an entire generation to die in the wilderness. After negotiations, Moses agreed to let them have this land provided they help their brothers militarily take Canaan.

The lesson for us is to consider the implications of our suggestions and decisions. How are we buying into attitudes of fear and rebellion? How are we settling for less than God’s best? What are we doing and saying that might discourage our brothers and frustrate the Lord’s plans for us? Sometimes doing only what makes reasonable sense may be an act of direct disobedient against the will and commands of God.

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