These two and a half tribes were cattlemen. The land across the Jordan was excellent for cattle – plain country with good grass. Moses speaks strongly. The tribes respond respectfully – they realise that Moses has an excellent point that they can’t refute. They kept their bargain with Moses.
“Be sure your sin will find you out.”
Here Moses gives us a powerful exhortation – You can be sure that your sin will find you out.
Reuben and Gad (and later half of the half-tribe of Manasseh) didn’t want to enter the promised land. They figured what they saw with their eyes would be better than whatever God had in store for them (Remember Lot’s folly in Genesis 13, choosing the place that eventually cost him much).
You can almost see the steam rising off Moses, bristling in anger. And he really gives it to the chieftains,
“And behold, you have risen in your father’s place, a brood of sinful men, …”
Reuben and Gad agreed with Moses. They covenanted to send all their warriors with the rest of Israel to purge and clear out the promised land.
They heard the warning and agreed not to let sin have them as it crouches at their door (but to rule over it, Genesis 4:7).
Despite their folly, they then chose wisdom.
This is important for us to read, these examples. Who are we but people who still make foolish decisions.
And so we read,
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.” Proverbs 4:7
And then how to start,
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10
Let’s be encouraged to fear the Lord. Let’s be exhorted to get to know God.
* Dear Lord God,
Please open the eyes and ears of our hearts today – Teach us Your word loving Father!
Write it on our hearts that we might not sin against You.
Plant Your word deep down in us and grow it, that we might be good soil and bear much fruit.
Thank You that You work good through the bad (foolish) decisions we make.
Please help us find and choose Your wisdom Lord each day!