April 11, 2021
Living On The Borders Of Canaan – Numbers 32:1-5
On April 11, 2021, Pastor Peter Jamieson spoke on the importance of basing our decisions on the Word of God and not simply on reason, and compared it to the Israelites who were living on the borders of Canaan.
Numbers 32:1-5 state,
Now the people of Reuben and the people of Gad had a very great number of livestock. And they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for livestock. So the people of Gad and the people of Reuben came and said to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the chiefs of the congregation, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, the land that the Lord struck down before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock and your servants have livestock.” And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.
- The outer garb of compromise
God wanted the Israelites to cross the Jordan River into the Promise Land. However, the request they made to Moses and Eleazar not to cross over to the land of Canaan seemed like a reasonable choice. But their choice was not to fulfill God’s will for them, but to fulfill their own desires. It sounded like a reasonable request, but it was a compromise. We are guilty of this as well. Many decisions we make today are based on reason and fulfilling our own desires. Everything looks right, but it may not be what God has planned for us. We should consult God before making any decision, whether it is big or small. How many times did we think it was the best choice only to find out we made a mistake?
- The inner truth about compromise
Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4 says, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” In the times in which we live, we cannot take this lightly. We are running out of time. We know the signs that will take place prior to the second coming of Christ. We should be watching for them. We should get ready and not take anything for granted. The problems we find ourselves in are caused by friendship with the world. Matthew 6:24 states, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
- The aftereffects of compromise
What the Israelites thought was a decision based on reason was actually disobedience to God. The land of Canaan was a land of promise, but Gilead was not, no matter how good it looked. Their desires prepared the way for deception and prevented them from seeing and understanding the will of God for them. Some of our decisions look good and reasonable, but are they what God wants for us? The road God wants us to follow could be more difficult, but it will prove more valuable for us in the end. The devil is always in our midst looking for ways to deceives us. We are to resist him.