All of Israel did not settle in the promised land. There were two and a half tribes, Reuben, Gad, and half of the tribe of Manasseh, that settled east of Jordan. When they saw the riches, houses, pastures, lands, wells, and cattle, they looked at these things and thought, “It would be nice to settle down right here.Let’s just remain on this side of Jordan.” The leaders of these tribes came to Moses and said, “We want to stay right here and settle down.”
Numbers 32, tells the story of what happened to Reuben, Gad, and half of the tribe of Manasseh. They came and told Moses, “We want to remain on this side of Jordan.” Moses was rather upset when they made this request (Numbers 32:6-8). Moses reminded these men that their fathers had made a similar error which resulted in forty years of wilderness wanderings.
Eventually, the leaders of this tribe made a compromise with Moses:
But we ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them unto their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fenced cities because of the inhabitants of the land. We will not return unto our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance. For we will not inherit with them on yonder side Jordan, or forward; because our inheritance is fallen to us on this side Jordan eastward. (Numbers 32:17-19)
Moses agreed to this, and the two and a half tribes began to settle down, divide up the territory, and possess the land on the east bank of Jordan.
The question is: Were they right in what they did? Were they right in settling down east of Jordan?
The answer is: They were wrong. This is an example of borderline Christianity. These men were moved by sight instead of faith. The promise was clear — it was the west side of Jordan that Israel was to possess:
Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. (Joshua 1:2-3)
Examine your own heart today. Are you living a life of borderline Christianity or are you moving ahead to claim all that God has for you?
Make this declaration:
I won’t settle for borderline Christianity. I will move out in faith to claim all that God has for me.