Numbers 32* The tribes of Reuben and Gad request an inheritance on theeast of Jordan. (1-5) Moses reproves the Reubenites and Gadites.(6-15) They explain their views, Moses consents. (16-27) Theytake possession of the land to the east of Jordan. (28-42)1-5 Here is a proposal made by the Reubenites and Gadites, thatthe land lately conquered might be allotted to them. Two thingscommon in the world might lead these tribes to make this choice;the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. There was much amissin the principle they went upon; they consulted their ownprivate convenience more than the public good. Thus to thepresent time, many seek their own things more than the things ofJesus Christ; and are led by worldly interests and advantages totake up short of the heavenly Canaan. 6-15 The proposal showed disregard to the land of Canaan,distrust of the Lord's promise, and unwillingness to encounterthe difficulties and dangers of conquering and driving out theinhabitants of that land. Moses is wroth with them. It willbecomes any of God's Israel to sit down unconcerned about thedifficult and perilous concerns of their brethren, whetherpublic or personal. He reminds them of the fatal consequences ofthe unbelief and faint-heartedness of their fathers, when theywere, as themselves, just ready to enter Canaan. If menconsidered as they ought what would be the end of sin, theywould be afraid of the beginning of it. 16-27 Here is the good effect of plain dealing. Moses, byshowing their sin, and the danger of it, brought them to theirduty, without murmuring or disputing. All men ought to considerthe interests of others as well as their own; the law of loverequires us to labour, venture, or suffer for each other asthere may be occasion. They propose that their men of war shouldgo ready armed before the children of Israel into the land ofCanaan, and that they should not return till the conquest ofCanaan was ended. Moses grants their request, but he warns themof the danger of breaking their word. If you fail, you sinagainst the Lord, and not against your brethren only; God willcertainly reckon with you for it. Be sure your sin will find youout. Sin will surely find out the sinner sooner or later. Itconcerns us now to find our sins out, that we may repent ofthem, and forsake them, lest they find us out to our ruin. 28-42 Concerning the settlement of these tribes, observe, thatthey built the cities, that is, repaired them. They changed thenames of them; probably they were idolatrous, therefore theyshould be forgotten. A spirit of selfishness, of seeking ourown, not the things of Christ, when each one ought to assistothers, is as dangerous as it is common. It is impossible to besincere in the faith, sensible of the goodness of God,constrained by the love of Christ, sanctified by the power ofthe Holy Ghost, and yet be indifferent to the progress ofreligion, and the spiritual success of others, through love ofease, or fear of conflict. Let then your light so shine beforemen, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Fatherwhich is in heaven.
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