Battle with the Midianites, Numbers 31-32. Before Moses was to go be with the Lord, there was one last battle to fight. Because of the sin brought upon the Israelites by the Midianites, God had purposed that the Midianites were to be destroyed.
1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Avenge the people of Israel on the Midianites. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people.” 3 So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian to execute the Lord's vengeance on Midian.
Numbers 31:1-3, ESV
1 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. 2 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, 3 "Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Eleath, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, 4 the land that the Lord struck down before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” 5 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.”
28 So Moses gave command concerning them to Eleazar the priest and to Joshua the son of Nun and to the heads of the fathers' houses of the tribes of the people of Israel. 29 And Moses said to them, “If the people of Gad and the people of Reuben, every man who is armed to battle before the Lord, will pass with you over the Jordan and the land shall be subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession.
Numbers 32:1-5 & 28-29, ESV
Battle with the Midianites: Ordered by God
Before Moses was to go be with the Lord, there was one last battle to fight. Because of the sin brought upon the Israelites by the Midianites, God had purposed that the Midianites were to be destroyed.
After the battle, when the men of the tribes of Gad and Reuben, as well as the half-tribe of Manasseh saw that the land of the Midianites was perfect for their livestock, they requested to receive their inheritance on this side of the Jordan. As long as the men from these tribes agreed to go over to the other side of Jordan and fight with their brothers until each tribe has received their inheritance, their request was approved by God.
Battle with the Midianites: Were Gad, Reuben and Manasseh wrong?
It is interesting to note that as we continue to work our way through the historical books of the Old Testament, there was often division between the people on either side of the Jordan. Do you think this request of the men from Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh was part of God's original plan?
This is an important question to ponder; much is said about destiny in our day. Are we really able to change the will of God by the decisions we make? Think of the implications of that question; do we in essence rise above God by making him modify His will for us?
Battle with the Midianites: God Orders all Things According to His Will
Though I do not desire to plumb the depths of these questions, the way we respond to them does affect the way we perceive God, and thus affects our Christian walk before Him. I am not God; I do not understand how He works the seemingly impossible. Yet, I do know that nothing we do can thwart or change the will of God! I also know that God has ordained all things according to His perfect will even before time began.
Now that is something that should truly make our hearts glad. No matter what, we cannot cause God to modify His eternal plans. What an amazing God we have! We can freely hope and trust in Him, knowing that everything He promised in His Word will be brought to pass.
Of course, this begs the question, "What about our free will?" Here is the answer to that question. We, as humans, see a conflict between God ordaining all things and us having a free will to choose our own way. We are not God. What appears to be a conflict to us is not one to God. The Bible teaches that God ordains all things. The Bible also teaches that man has a free will. Therefore, both things are true. Sometimes we err by trying too hard to understand everything. In heaven, everything will be made clear to us. For now, we see through a glass darkly.
Pray today that God would graciously comfort you and give you peace this day knowing that you walk in the strength and power of a perfect and unchangeable God!
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