As a result, God spent the next 40 years building a covenant and an intimacy with them that transformed a new generation of Israel from oppressed slaves to a free people - a people who trusted God because He had proven His faithfulness and provision; a people who obeyed God because He had demonstrated His power and righteousness; a people ready to embrace God's promised land.
What an exciting time in the life of Israel! This generation of Israelites is poised to inherit an extravagant blessing, freedom from their past and rest from their wandering.
As God's people prepare to cross the Jordan River and claim what God had promised was theirs, two of the twelve tribes of Israel approach their leader, Moses with a proposal.
"We like this land to the east of the Jordan River. It's good enough for us. It's got lots of room for our flocks to graze, and we can build fortified cities here for our women and children," they explained in short.
God wanted them to have the Promised Land. They settled for east of the Jordan.
Their decision to settle for less than what God had prepared for them has weighed on my heart all day. Why on earth would they not embrace the fullness of God's blessing? They fought in the battle to claim the Promised Land. They knew it was a land flowing with milk and honey. They witnessed as God delivered it over to His people. Yet they chose to swim right back over the Jordan. They traded God's "best" for "good enough."
I have been asking myself all day if I am ever like the tribes of Gad and Rueben. In what areas of my life am I settling?
Am I limited by my abilities when God wants to accomplish more than I can ever ask or imagine?
Am I protecting myself from being hurt again when God wants to heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds?
Am I learning to accept what I cannot understand when God wants to give me a peace that passes understanding?
Am I wearing guilt from my past when God wants to clothe me in His righteousness?
Am I managing my anxiety when God wants me to cast my cares on Him because He cares for me?
Am I resolved to move on when God wants me to experience the freedom of forgiveness?
Am I ashamed of past failures when God wants to make a crown from my ashes?
Am I content with a comfortable marriage when God wants me to be one flesh?
Am I living one day at a time when God sent His Son, Jesus to give me life abundantly?
Am I settling east of the Jordan when the Promised Land is waiting?
Promise for Today:
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. Deuteronomy 7:9