“And they said, ‘If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.’” Numbers 32:5
The tribes of Reuben and Gad spotted good land on the way to the Promised Land. They asked Moses to leave them there, to allow them to possess this land and not go across the river. While it did end in agreement and these tribes were given this land to possess, it got me to thinking. They didn’t even see the Promised Land before settling here. This looked good, so they wanted to stay. They originally weren’t even planning to go into the land God had promised to their fathers.
This seemed a bit strange to me. God Himself chose the land He would give to His people. It was hand-selected. It was a land full of the blessing, provision, and wonder of the Lord. But these tribes apparently didn’t think it could be better than what was before their eyes. Here, they’ve seen a land that they want. Land that fits their purposes and is free for the taking. Land that is good enough for them. So they ask to go ahead and stake their claim.
How often do we do this? Following God’s leading, on the way to His future that He has set before us (even if we don’t know exactly what it holds), we look over and see something that looks good to our eyes. Land that fits our purposes, our vision for what the future should be. Something that works for us and seems able to satisfy.
What do we do in that moment? Do we deviate from the leading of God and choose that other path? Or do we trust our great God who hand-picked our life’s story and rejoice that whatever He has in store is even better? Is our faith strong enough to hold fast in the face of a life that looks good enough for our taste and fits our expectations? Do we press on for the glory of God, satisfied in His steadfast love and resting in His grace?
Our God is great and abundant in power, with wisdom and understanding that surpass our own. The story He is writing with our lives is full of His goodness and the lavish riches of His grace. It is full of joy and abundant life. So let us press on to know Him and make that our aim. Our hearts will thrill as His brilliant purposes unfold before our eyes.