-The sons of Reuben and Gad were livestock ranchers primarily and asked Moses and Eleazar for the lands of Jazer and Gilead, which were to the east of the Jordan and well suited for their animals with primo grazing places. Moses’ response considered the rest of the tribes for he was concerned that they would not engage in the wars that were to come for the conquest of the Promised Land with their brothers. This would discourage the process of coming into God’s divine inheritance, and Moses felt like it had the aura of past experiences in shrinking from the ultimate call and faith that they were to display. The great prophet of God did not want to anger the LORD again as in the days of Kadesh-barnea (Numbers 13), which ended up costing the Israelites dearly in them dying in the wilderness, not being able to come into promise. In fact, Moses called them “a brood of sinful men” who had risen up in their father’s place to add still more burning anger to the LORD against His chosen people (Numbers 32:1-14). Moses insisted that they follow the LORD without turning away for the purpose of Him staying with them in their pursuit of the Promised Land and for their perseverance as a people (Numbers 32:15).
-The sons of Reuben and Gad came near Moses and assured him that they would build fortified cities and sheepfolds for protection to the east of the Jordan River, and then arm themselves for battle with their brothers when they crossed the Jordan. They covenanted to stay with them until they had established their place in the land God had given (Numbers 32:16-19). Moses consented to this request with dire warning if they backed out of their commitment. They would have a possession in the place they desired if they fulfilled their obligation toward the LORD and their fellows tribes. But, Moses warned if they did not do so they would have sinned against the LORD, and “be sure your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:20-23).” All agreed to this contract and the work began. “So Moses gave to them, to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Reuben and to the half-tribe of Joseph’s son Manasseh, the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og, the king of Bashan, the land with its cities with their territories, the cities of the surrounding land.” The sons of Machir of Manasseh went to Gilead and took it dispossessing the Amorites who were in it, and that is where they lived (Numbers 32:24-42).
-*Application* Brotherhood and unity always has a cost. Be willing to faithfully sacrifice for the things that your fellow man needs in the course of this life. This is the primary principle for us to glean from this passage. God expects His people to work together for a common call and purpose until its completion. Be willing to give up your own comforts to assist others who are going to have need. When you are willing to do that, God will bless and give you the desires of your own heart more often than not.
Verse to Memorize: Numbers 32:23