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: 27 But thy servants will pass over, every man armed for war, before the Lord to battle, as my lord saith.Numbers 32:25-27
In this text we see the response to Moses’ conditions in the past couple of verses. The leaders of the tribes of Gad and Reuben told Moses that they were on board. They would not abandon the other tribes of Israel. They would take care of their families, and then go fight with their brothers. They understood Moses commands and God’s commands for them, and they were willing to fight.
This seems like the obvious choice for them to make after all that they had seen over years following God through the wilderness. He had kept them wandering because of disobedience in this area before. He had help them win, and allowed defeat from their enemies because of disobedience. There’s a sense in which when we read this it seems obvious that they should make this choice. However, remember that obedience meant going to war. It meant suiting up for battle. It’s not exactly an easy thing to do. Obedience cost them something. They had to trust God that what they were doing was best and that He would provide for their safety, security, and for their families. They showed an obedient attitude in the face of this kind of circumstance. We can see their obedience in the book of Joshua.
12 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them:Joshua 4:12
Not only does God demand obedience, He also rewards it. These people promised to obey and that came with certain privileges. God always rewards obedience. We may not see immediate rewards to our obedience. We may not see earthly rewards to our obedience. But we will see heavenly rewards to obedience as long as we are faithful.
How do we know what to obey? We’ve got to be in God’s Word every day. We make decisions every day. To do that in continued obedience, I need God’s Word reminding me and informing my decisions so I will be in line with God’s desires.
- How have you been blessed by being obedient to God? Take a few minutes to “count your blessings”.
- How have you reaped bad consequences in disobedience?
- Where do you need to be obedient today?