The journey of the children of Israel through the wilderness and into the promised land was an interesting one. It provides significant detail which is still relevant today for our journey through life and into God’s promise of rest. There is an eternal rest beyond this life in heaven, where we will live with God. However, God also provides seasons of rest and an inherited promise on earth for people who obey him and walk in his will and purpose.
After the freedom of the Israelites from Egypt, we study their journey through the wilderness into their land of promise. The journey was characterised by challenges, seasons of miracles and victory, disobedience and punishment. They eventually come into God’s promise of blessing. We share in that inheritance as God’s people, through adoption into his family.
In Deuteronomy Israel defeated Bashan and took possession of the lands before crossing over the Jordan river. Those lands were allocated to the Ruebenites, Gadites and half the tribe of Manasseh. These were three of the tribes of Israel that were the sons of Jacob.
Moses however, commanded them to cross over the Jordan to help the other tribes. This was to help them do battle and take possession of the rest of the promised land. And the tribes kept this decree and sent their men of valour with the army to help their brothers.
In Joshua 22, all the battle ended and God gave rest to all the people. Joshua acknowledged the work that the tribes of Rueben, Gad and Manasseh had done in helping their brothers. He told them that they could then go back to their own lands and rest.
It must have been a major sacrifice for these tribes to go beyond their land to help the other 10 tribes in battle. Nevertheless I imagine that within their unity there was strength for everyone to accomplish more.
The bible offers principles for life and instructions that we can choose to follow and adopt as examples for living. I suppose it makes it easier for us to rest knowing that we have worked to help others to win.