Bible Order: Joshua 16:1–19:16
Chronological Order: Deuteronomy 4:15–6:25
New Testament Only: Mark 13:14–37
The Far Side Of The Jordon
How far are you willing to go with God? Are you willing to go all the way? The first generation of Israelites who left Egypt were unwilling to go all the way with God. They got to the Jordan, were spooked by the size of their foes, and refused to go further. They wandered in the wilderness until all the adults of that generation had died, with the exception of Moses, Caleb, and Joshua. Now, after 40 years of wandering they once again approach God’s Promised Land and yet again there are those who wish to go further.
This time the reticence of the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh to go further, springs from their greed for the land of Gilead. They have large herds of livestock and the land of Gilead is perfect for livestock. Why would they want to go to a land they have never seen when a land they do see looks so perfect for them?
The Promised Land, Canaan, is a metaphor for Heaven. Heaven is eternity in right relationship with God. A vision of the Apostle John gives us a picture of Heaven as having pearly gates and streets of gold (Rev. 21:12). This is a picture of the true treasure God offers us which is not material wealth but indescribable wealth that can only be found in His presence. Think about eternal joy and contentment. Think about a return to the Garden of Eden where we no longer will eat our bread by the sweat of our face (Gen. 3:19). What is that worth to you?
God has given most of us incredible blessings. Some of us pray that God will give us the greatest material blessings this world has to offer. I see this as similar to the request of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh. They looked at where they were and wanted that. They were willing to forgo what God had in store for them in order to gain what their own greedy hearts desired. I must say guys that there is a passage of Scripture that worries me to no end.
Matthew 7:21-23 ESV
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
How many of my brothers and sisters in Christ have come so far toward where God want them to be, but have stopped short, having found the blessings of this world enough to satisfy? How many have decided to sit on the far side of the Jordan? How many when it is too late will realize their mistake only to hear Jesus say those devastating words “I never knew you”? Brothers, do not become content with this world. Keep your eyes on the prize. Continue to grow in your faith, to head steadily and resolutely toward the Promised Land. What a great and wondrous treasure you shall have on that glorious day!
Have a blessed day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(Originally posted 3/11/11)