Numbers 32: How Two Tribes Almost Ruined It For Everyone Else

The journey is almost over.

Forty years of wandering and the end is in sight.

The last obstacle before the Jordan River is gone.

The time is now!

Israelites, prepare to enter the land that the LORD has promised to you!

Not So Fast

Um, hey Moses, us Reubenites and Gadites were thinking. See, we have a lot of cattle. Like, a lot of cattle. And the land we are currently in is pretty good for them.

We were thinking we were just going to stay here. We don’t want to cross the Jordan. We don’t want to go with everyone else.

We’ll settle here instead.

Say What Now?

Are you kidding me?

You want to stay? You want to be excused from fighting for the land? Because you have a lot of cows?


Your cows are more important to you than your people? What is it with you people and cows?

Listen to me very carefully. I know it may be difficult for you to understand but your actions will have consequences beyond what you can see. Did you ever stop to think about what you quitting will do to the rest of Israel?

Did you ever think about what pulling over 80,000 men out of the army would do to morale?

Who else will start to think they can settle? Who will see you and wonder why the rich cattle tribe gets to choose out?

Just because you are wealthy doesn’t mean you get a free pass. You are a part of this people.
And I don’t think I need to remind you about your fathers.

They did the same thing. The last time we were here they discouraged everyone. They spread despair like a poison through the camp. Because of them we wandered around for 40 years.

And every single one of them died.

Under no circumstances will I let that happen again.

Not So Fast

We will fight. Our families will stay behind but we will fight.

(I have to jump in here. They frustrate me. A lot. Why do they think they are so special? Everyone else has to risk everything to go into the land but these two tribes feel like they can just choose out. And why? They have too much “stuff.” Ugh!)


But I am warning you: Do not back out of this. If you cause your people to despair and lose hope in God, it will be on your heads.

(I really hope they make good on their promise)

5 responses

  1. Amazing that a two whole tribes would stop just short of the goal and not follow through to the most amazing blessing that they had ever seen….glad people don’t do that today.

  2. Kind of sounds like the over emphasis on prosperity doctrines we see today – almost completely forgetting the amazing things of God the other side of the ‘fence’ and settling for the ‘stuff’ here because its soooo good?! but it just does not compare!!

    And that is besides the fact like you mentioned – they were in it together as a people, how selfish want to dive out at this late stage!

    Interesting thoughts

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