“And the people of Gad and the people of Reuben answered, ‘What the Lord has said to your servants, we will do. We will pass over armed before the Lord into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us beyond the Jordan'” (Numbers 32:31-32, ESV).
In Numbers 32 the Israelites are preparing for the conquest of the promised land. The people of the tribes of Reuben and Gad requested that Moses allow them to settle in lands on the east side of the Jordan River, which was not within the boundaries of the promised land. They wanted to settle east of the Jordan because they owned large herds of livestock and there was good grazing land there.
At first Moses resisted their request pointing out that they were disobeying God just like their fathers who died during their forty-year wandering in the wilderness because they rebelled against the plan to possess the land God had promised.
So, the tribes of Reuben and Gad struck a deal with Moses that they would settle their families and livestock on the east side of the Jordan but their fighting men would take up arms and lead in the battles against the inhabitants of the land until all the people groups in the land of Canaan were subdued. If they stayed until the war in Canaan was over, then the lands on the east side of the Jordan would be their inheritance.
“I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water. This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’; and that one will call on the name of Jacob; and another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord,’ and will name Israel’s name with honor” (Isaiah 44:3-5, NASB).
Have you ever written a phone number, address, or other short note on the palm of your hand? Perhaps you needed to remember some important information that you would need to reference later.
When God gives us His Spirit to dwell in us, it is like He puts a divine notation on us that we belong to Him, that we are His people and thereby eligible for all the benefits and blessings inherited by His children.
“I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is!” (Luke 7:28, NLT).
Jesus praised John the Baptist as one of the greatest people who have ever lived. Then, Jesus contrasted the eminence of John with that of people who are just “average” citizens of God’s Kingdom.
“Look, I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants” (Deuteronomy 1:8, NLT).
To prepare the Israelites for the conquest of Canaan, Moses reminded them of life in Egypt, of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, and of their past fearfulness that resulted in disobedience to God and rebellion against His promises.
“You are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” According to the Apostle John, there is a bully in this world who actively works against God by threatening, intimidating, tempting, and deceiving people including the children of God with his evil influences: “This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already” (vs. 3). Fortunately, we have a Big Brother who is bigger and stronger than the bully who thinks he controls this world. In fact, our Big Brother, Jesus, has already overcome and defeated this bully. Therefore, the Spirit of Jesus who dwells in us is more powerful than the evil spirit, Satan, who controls this world. You have nothing to fear from this bully. Whenever this bully threatens or intimidates you, you can call on your Big Brother, Jesus, who is always near because His Spirit dwells in you to help you take on and defeat this bully.