I feel that many of God's precious children live far beneath the fullness of blessing that God is willing to pour into our lives because we have traded the best for the good. We have settled for the easy, here and now, and have passed on the promised land.
Num 32:4-5 the country which the LORD defeated before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock." Therefore they said, "If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession. Do not take us over the Jordan."
Israel had defeated several towns just east of the Jordan River at the end of Moses’ leadership of Israel. God had declared that Moses would see the Promised Land, but would not enter into it. Joshua was about to take the mantle of responsibility and cross the river to claim God’s promise.
Two and a half tribes looked about them and saw that the land in which they were staying was a good land and conducive to raising livestock. So they approached Moses to ask if they could stay and not claim the inheritance offered by God just ahead. They in essence were asking if they could settle for the good and not receive the best that God was willing to give to them.
I have to wonder if we are not guilty of settling for less than what God has planned to give to us through His Son Jesus. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says to Israel, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” This promise is for us today as well. God has a perfect plan for us, but do we settle through compromise for something far more inferior?
Their plan to compromise sounded good, in that they were willing to go with their brothers and help to conquer and establish them in the new land. They would pay the price for others, but they themselves would not live among them when all was said and done. Compromise usually comes in the form of a comfortable rationale. As we witness the move of God we must ask ourselves: What is God saying to us? What is God wanting to show us? Are we open to what God is wanting to do? And, will we settle for less than what God has promised?
The result of their compromise is that they were the first to succumb to idolatry (Joshua 22). They were the first to be swept away into captivity (2 Kings 13). And we can see in Mark the 15th chapter the degenerated state of these lands in the story of a demoniac in Gadara. They towns people after witnessing the miracle of a man delivered from a legion of demons asked Jesus to leave their land rather than to make Him feel welcomed. I fear that settling for less than God’s perfect will, we too, will eventually waste away in our closeness with the Almighty, perhaps even to the point of complete apostasy.
Compromise almost always seems reasonable, rational and accommodating. But there can be no compromise with sin and the inerrant Word of God. Now is the time for a commitment to stand true; true to God, true to ourselves, and true to others.