Tempted to settle in Gilead.

Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

In Numbers 32, we meet the twelve tribes of Israel, yet again, still on their journey to the land of Canaan. At this point in scripture, however, it is certain that the Israelites were a step closer to the promise. One can only imagine the excitement, but also the anxiety which must have gripped the crowd. Though fully aware of the powerful Canaanites whom they would have to displace in order to fully possess the land, they kept moving forward! Some of them were going to follow God’s instruction and hold firmly onto the promise which had been made to them. They were going to continue their journey to the land which God had assured them; one which had everything they would need to be productive and fruitful.

Deuteronomy 6:3- ‘Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you’.

However, it was when the Israelites reached a fertile, mountainous region east of the Jordan River called Gilead, that it appeared that the tribes of Reuben and Gad had a vision of their own. These two tribes had great numbers of livestock and their priority was to ensure that they settled in a place suitable for their line of business and trade. The land of Gilead seemed to be everything they ever wanted and more. It was their dream home! But, it was not Canaan.

Why did the Tribes of Reuben and Gad settle for anything less than Canaan?

Is it that they did not trust the report which had been given to them concerning the fertile soils and prosperity which awaited them in Canaan?

Is it that they became too impatient to wait for the great home which God had in store for them?

Is it that they doubted God’s intentions towards them and the amazing plan He had to prosper them and not to harm them?

Is it that they were arrogant enough to believe that they knew what they needed better than God Himself?

The decision made by the Reubenites and Gadites was based on their lust to have what they saw as the most advantageous to themselves.

Having remained on the East of the Jordan, they were susceptible to attack by raiding gangs and they finally found themselves in the path of the cruel King of Assyria who then captured them. Sadly, the Reubenites and Gadites reaped trouble and captivity instead of the blessing that God had intended for them.

2 Kings 15 v 29- “In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maachah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them captive to Assyria.”

The premise of this article is not to solely focus on these two tribes, but to encourage each of us to have a moment of self-introspection. It is my prayer that each person who is reading this zeros into their lives and seeks clarity from the Father concerning His perfect will. We ought to be honest with ourselves and to God about any aspect of our lives, in which we have decided to settle for less than what He has promised us. It is through this exercise that most people will realize that they are not where they are meant to be; not as a result of God breaking His promises or forgetting them, but as a result of their mere impatience, distrust or lack of faith.

Why settle for a career you are not passionate about, yet God has given you the vision for a bigger assignment?

Why settle for a lukewarm relationship with God, yet He has promised you a deeper connection filled with revelation and purpose?

Why settle for a toxic relationship when God has a beautiful, godly marriage in store for you?

Why settle for anything less than Canaan?



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Nozithelo Nyathi

Nozithelo Nyathi

A Christian Writer seeking to invoke honest, fruitful and open conversations about the Christian faith.