I get all kinds of requests for money, you know, you make one donation and the scent of blood is sensed for miles. Some of the requests are causes with which I would agree, some not so much. But even the ones I would tend to support, well, let’s face it, there’s only so much to go around.
Which really isn’t the point. The real issue is the fact that it’s not “my” money anyway. Sure, it’s in my name, my account with my beneficiaries and all that. It goes to pay my bills, my taxes, and my retirement (such as it is). It puts food on my table and gas in my car. It’s not that I haven’t worked hard for it all; sure I have. And yes, some of that hard work has taken a toll I’d care not to admit, but there it is.
Still, the truth is, it’s not mine.
Not any more. Because I actually belong to a larger government than any on this planet—the kingdom of God, (which is, I might add, far more just than the IRS…just saying.)
Yes, it’s easy to get to a point in life when I just want to wipe the sweat from my brow and sit down with my ice tea, (unsweet, Wally, unsweet), put my feet up and let others take over. Put a period on it all, and not just close the book, but shelve the book, walk out of the library and slam the door, so to speak.
That’s what Moses was concerned about with some of the Hebrews as well. At this point in their history, the wandering nation was now poised to enter the Promised Land, but it wasn’t just going to be handed over to them without a struggle; they were going to have to fight for it. However, a couple of the tribes had decided they pretty well liked the land on this side of the river and wanted to stay put…
“‘Do you intend to stay here while your brothers go across and do all the fighting?’ Moses asked the men of Gad and Reuben.”
Moses was not a man you wanted upset with you. Historically, it could get messy real fast.
“Then the men of Gad and Reuben replied, ‘We, your servants, will follow your instructions exactly. Our children, wives, flocks, and cattle will stay here in the towns of Gilead. But all who are able to bear arms will cross over to fight for the LORD, just as you have said.’”
I don’t know if they were originally planning it that way, or if Moses’ body language gave them pause to rethink their strategy, but either way, they came to the right decision.
And I need to do the same. The idea is sitting back with my first-world “problems” (which are usually just inconveniences) compared to third-world problems (which are usually akin to survival.)
Or even more so, here at home, spiritual peace and prosperity doesn’t preclude spiritual warfare on behalf of the body of Christ. I’m not “done”. Fighting for unity, (which I realize sounds like an oxymoron but is not by any means!), fighting for the hearts of others, fighting against the “unseen forces of evil”, we are called to fight until our last breath.
Besides, there’ll be plenty of time to sip tea in Heaven anyway.
Numbers 32:6,25-27 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.