Numbers 32:23



The Bible says in Numbers 32:23-26, “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.[24] Build you cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do that which hath proceeded out of your mouth.[25] And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben spake unto Moses, saying, Thy servants will do as my lord commandeth.[26] Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our cattle, shall be there in the cities of Gilead:” An important statement is made by Moses at the end of verse twenty-three. He was talking to the children of Gad and Reuben who had made a promise about their commitment to the rest of Israel if they were allowed to stay in the land of Gilead on the other side of the Jordan River. What would happen if they did not keep their word? “be sure your sin will find you out.” That is true of all sin, including the sins of the mouth: not fulfilling your verbal commitments. We need a lot of forgiveness and mercy from the Lord Jesus. It even says in the New Testament to Christians in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” If you want to change what happens to you then change your behavior. One of the benefits of believing in Jesus is that Christians have the power of God to help them go in the right direction. “If any man be in Christ, he is  a new creature: old things are passed away, behold all things are become new


Notice that in verse twenty-four Moses told the children of Gad and Reuben to do two things: take care of their families and keep their word. Some people have children and then do not take care of their families. They do not do the material things or the spiritual things needed to take care of their families. They neglect their duties and responsibilities. They do not take their children to a good Bible-teaching church, they do not put their children in Christian schools, and they do not send their children to a Christian college. Other people do not keep their word. They make promises and commitments to pastors and to churches, but they do not keep their word. They make commitments to the Lord Jesus, but they do not keep their word. They make commitments to family member, neighbors, and people involved at work, but they do not keep their word. What good are they, if they do not keep their word? The children of Reuben and Gad did keep their word. Why were they able to do that? They said to Moses in verse twenty-five, “Thy servants will do as my lord commandeth.” They called themselves “servants.” They were humble. They understood their true place in life. They understood the importance of keeping their word.


The Bible says in Numbers 32:27-33, “But thy servants will pass over, every man armed for war, before the LORD to battle, as my lord saith.[28] So concerning them Moses commanded Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the chief fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel:[29] And Moses said unto them, If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben will pass with you over Jordan, every man armed to battle, before the LORD, and the land shall be subdued before you; then ye shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession:[30] But if they will not pass over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.[31] And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben answered, saying, As the LORD hath said unto thy servants, so will we do.[32] We will pass over armed before the LORD into the land of Canaan, that the possession of our inheritance on this side Jordan may be ours.[33] And Moses gave unto them, even to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, and unto half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, with the cities thereof in the coasts, even the cities of the country round about.” In verse thirty-one notice what the children of Gad and Reuben said: “As the LORD hath said unto thy servants, so will we do.” That should be the attitude of every believer. They recognized themselves as servants, and they did what they did because they knew God’s Word and they wanted to obey God’s Word. What the Lord said is what they were purposed to do. The way that we know the Lord’s will is to read God’s Word. Always read God’s Word not just to learn what it says, but to also put it into practice. Notice also that it says in verse twenty-nine that if they followed the Lord’s will, then they would be given “the land of Gilead for a possession.” If you are a believer, God has something for you to do in this world. Do not miss it. You will find it if you have the attitude of a servant and if you are willing to obey the Lord’s will. There is one other thing to say about this: the children of Gad and of Reuben were given what they themselves wanted, the land of Gilead. Some people will think that they will lose if they surrender to God. The opposite is actually true.


The Bible says in Numbers 32:34-42, “And the children of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer,[35] And Atroth, Shophan, and Jaazer, and Jogbehah,[36] And Beth-nimrah, and Beth-haran, fenced cities: and folds for sheep.[37] And the children of Reuben built Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Kirjathaim,[38] And Nebo, and Baal-meon, (their names being changed,) and Shibmah: and gave other names unto the cities which they builded.[39] And the children of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead, and took it, and dispossessed the Amorite which was in it.[40] And Moses gave Gilead unto Machir the son of Manasseh; and he dwelt therein.[41] And Jair the son of Manasseh went and took the small towns thereof, and called them Havoth-jair.[42] And Nobah went and took Kenath, and the villages thereof, and called it Nobah, after his own name.” One of the things that is noticeable about these verses is that some of the sons of Manasseh also went to Gilead and took over towns in order to dwell there just like the sons of Gad and Reuben. This shows us that people will follow your example. If you do the wrong thing, people who see your example and follow it will also do the wrong thing. If you do the right thing, people will also see that and will be inclined to do what you have done.


The Bible says in Numbers 33:1-4, “These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron.[2] And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD: and these are their journeys according to their goings out.[3] And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.[4] For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.” These verses and the ones following are a reminder of what happened to the children of Israel after they were delivered from Egypt. One of the things going on during this time period was the first delivery from God to the human race of the written word of God. It says in verse two, “And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD.” Why did Moses write? God commanded Moses to do so. We have the first five book of the Bible written by the hand of Moses when we look at it from a human standpoint, but when we look at it from a spiritual standpoint, we see that the writings came from the Lord. The Lord told Moses when to write and what to write, and so it is the Word of God. We see how God prepared Moses. Moses was educated in the household of Pharaoh in all the education that that was possible from the Egyptian culture. And then Moses spent forty years in the wilderness raising a family, working, and learning the practical affairs of life, and having a personal relationship with God such as at the burning bush when God told Moses, “I AM that I AM.” It makes sense that God would give a written word of His truth, It is the best way for every generation to know the truth. Of course, it means that God would have to preserve his truth by preserving the written Word. All believers should know that God has given His written truth starting with Moses, and God has preserved His truth. We can have all confidence that we have the Word of God today without error. That is why Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” And it says in Psalms 100:6 that His “truth endureth to all generations


Verses three and four of Numbers chapter thirty-three are a reminder of the great deliverance that God had given to the children of Israel. The last of the ten plagues was the death of the firstborn. But the death did not happen to the children of Israel because they had the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. God saw the blood and He passed over them. The judgment of God did not fall upon them. We have that same blessing. We have the blood of Jesus that was shed for us on the cross of Calvary. Because of the innocent blood of Christ we are viewed as innocent. Because we trust in Jesus to be our salvation, we are saved from the wrath of God.


The Bible says in Numbers 33:5-39, “And the children of Israel removed from Rameses, and pitched in Succoth.[6] And they departed from Succoth, and pitched in Etham, which is in the edge of the wilderness.[7] And they removed from Etham, and turned again unto Pi-hahiroth, which is before Baal-zephon: and they pitched before Migdol.[8] And they departed from before Pi-hahiroth, and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, and went three days' journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah.[9] And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there.[10] And they removed from Elim, and encamped by the Red sea.[11] And they removed from the Red sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin.[12] And they took their journey out of the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah.[13] And they departed from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush.[14] And they removed from Alush, and encamped at Rephidim, where was no water for the people to drink.[15] And they departed from Rephidim, and pitched in the wilderness of Sinai.[16] And they removed from the desert of Sinai, and pitched at Kibroth-hattaavah.[17] And they departed from Kibroth-hattaavah, and encamped at Hazeroth.[18] And they departed from Hazeroth, and pitched in Rithmah.[19] And they departed from Rithmah, and pitched at Rimmon-parez.[20] And they departed from Rimmon-parez, and pitched in Libnah.[21] And they removed from Libnah, and pitched at Rissah.[22] And they journeyed from Rissah, and pitched in Kehelathah.[23] And they went from Kehelathah, and pitched in mount Shapher.[24] And they removed from mount Shapher, and encamped in Haradah.[25] And they removed from Haradah, and pitched in Makheloth.[26] And they removed from Makheloth, and encamped at Tahath.[27] And they departed from Tahath, and pitched at Tarah.[28] And they removed from Tarah, and pitched in Mithcah.[29] And they went from Mithcah, and pitched in Hashmonah.[30] And they departed from Hashmonah, and encamped at Moseroth.[31] And they departed from Moseroth, and pitched in Bene-jaakan.[32] And they removed from Bene-jaakan, and encamped at Hor-hagidgad.[33] And they went from Hor-hagidgad, and pitched in Jotbathah.[34] And they removed from Jotbathah, and encamped at Ebronah.[35] And they departed from Ebronah, and encamped at Ezion-gaber.[36] And they removed from Ezion-gaber, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh.[37] And they removed from Kadesh, and pitched in mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom.[38] And Aaron the priest went up into mount Hor at the commandment of the LORD, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the first day of the fifth month.[39] And Aaron was an hundred and twenty and three years old when he died in mount Hor.” In all the wanderings of the children of Israel, one thing is for certain: God took care of them. God also had a plan for them. God will also take care of us and God has a plan for each of us no matter where we go in this world. Jesus said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” In some ways the Christian life is like the life that the children of Israel had as they wandered through the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land. We are on our way to heaven because of Jesus. In this world we have no permanent dwelling place. We are on a journey that ends when we enter heaven, and that is exactly what will happen for every person who knows Jesus as Savior. Once we know Jesus, we also know two other things: 1. We end up in heaven. 2. Until we get there, Jesus will be with us and will take care of us.      





Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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