We have a lot of Reuben and Gad in our daily perspectives. Like these tribes of Israel, we have been wandering through the wilderness of life. We are confused and thirsty. But we have also seen God show up in amazing ways. The Gadites were there every day when manna appeared on the desert ground. The Reubenites were around when the Red Sea parted. You have seen some incredible things; you have seen God provide, comfort, and help. But these things are hard to remember when we are in the desert. It is much easier to focus on the negative.
We have also received the promises of God. For Gad and Reuben, this was a land “flowing with milk and honey”. For us, it is a kingdom, The Kingdom of Heaven, which Jesus told us was coming and, in fact, had come!
Maybe the promises are too crazy to believe. Maybe they are too enigmatic for us to make sense of. And so, like these two tribes of Israel, we settle for something less.
We see how things could be just the way we want them to be. And we ask God for that. We don’t need his mysterious promises that might come with a catch – unknown dangers. We will settle for what makes sense to us, what we can control and comprehend. This is far enough.
God calls us to faithfulness. He calls us to The Promised Land and then He both empowers and equips us to fight courageously for it. The lesser part of our makeup does not want something so complicated, so challenging. We want something easy, simple. Something, honestly, that requires a little less faith, a little more trust in ourselves than in something beyond our capacity to control.
Don’t settle for a watered-down version of life. There is more. God has promised a new perspective, a better place. If we settle for our own agenda, we run the risk of disqualifying ourselves from all God has in store.