“But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23
The Israelites defeated the Midianites and divided the valuables seized after winning the battle. Afterwards, the sons of Reuben and Gad had numerous livestock. They saw the land of Jazer and Gilead and considered the land an ideal place for their livestock. Because the Israelites were en route to inherit the Promised Land of Canaan, the sons of Gad and Reuben spoke to Moses, Eleazar, and the leaders of the congregation to ask if they could take possession of and remain in Jazer and Gilead instead.
Moses was concerned with the request because the sons of Reuben and Gad were to go to war to take possession of Canaan. Moses warned them of the Lord’s anger after the spies returned with a bad report that discouraged the congregation about entering the land the Lord promised. Of the twelve spies, only Joshua and Caleb survived and the first generation of Israelites to leave Egypt were made to wander in the wilderness for forty years until all of that generation died. Moses warned that judgment would occur if the sons of Reuben and Gad acted as their fathers did.
The sons of Reuben and Gad promised to be armed and ready to go before the sons of Israel and they would not return to Jazer and Gilead until all of the sons of Israel conquered and inherited the Promised Land. Moses agreed that if they did what they vowed, they could posses Jazer and Gilead, but if they did not, they would be sinning against the Lord and their sin would find them out. Moses told his successor Joshua, as well as Eleazer the priest, that the sons of Gad and Reuben were to cross the Jordan armed and ready for battle to help Israel subdue the Promised Land, so that they could in turn take possession of Jazer and Gilead. If they did not, they would then receive an apportion of the land of Canaan along with the other Israelites.
In this passage we see that the Lord was gracious to allow the sons of Gad and Reuben to take possession of Jazer and Gilead instead of receiving a portion of land in Canaan. The sons of Gad and Reuben honored the Lord by arming themselves to help the Israelites take possession of Canaan before they settled into Jazer and Gilead. If the sons of Gad and Reuben had only considered themselves and their families instead of obeying the command to arm themselves to help in the conquest of Canaan, they and their families would have reaped the consequences of that sin. As you encounter opportunities, take the time to weigh your actions and the potential results of those actions. When we sin, we sin against the Lord and we experience the consequences of that sin. Remember, the forewarning, “…be sure your sin will find you out” which Moses gave to the sons of Gad and Reuben remains true today.
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,