Notes: April 28, 2008 – Numbers 32

Today’s reading relates the request of the tribes of Reuben and Gad that they be permitted to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan River.

I. The formal request (1-5)

II. Moses presents a history lesson to show why the request should be denied (6-15)

III. An amendment to the request (16-19)

IV. The amended request is accepted by Moses with qualifications (20-24)

V. The amended request with qualifications is accepted by the tribes of Reuben and Gad (25-27)

VI. The final contract is publicly announced and agreed upon (28-33)

VII. The tribes of Reuben and Gad, along with the half tribe of Manasseh, take possession of their land (34-42)

Meditation Points:

  • Note in Numbers 32:5 how the request is made. It is not a demand, but a request.
  • Moses (Numbers 32:6) was concerned that the two tribes wanted to be excused from battle. There are many professing Christians who never engage the spiritual enemies of God; instead they leave the hard work of witnessing and preaching the gospel to others.
  • The terms of settlement are declared and witnessed in a public gathering (Numbers 32:28), making it all the more serious. The new Christian is expected to declare his faith in Christ via baptism, and he is is furthermore to confess openly his allegiance to Christ (Romans 10:9-10).