“We will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place.”Verse 17 (NIV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.Hebrews 12:1-2a (NIV)
Being raised in an immigrant family, I was taught that you do not ever purchase the highest price for an item. Or maybe it was just that as Dutch people we are inherently cheap. In any case I still to this day settle for the purchase of something that is mid-range in price. That practice has sometimes come back to bite with products that just don’t do the job I expected them to do.
The promised land was just across the Jordan River, but the land on the near side of the river looked good for grazing. So, the tribes of Reuben and Gad petitioned Moses to let them settle in that area. In doing so, they faced the temptation of settling for what looked good rather than launching forward to grab hold of what God had promised – The Promised Land. When Moses challenged them, the tribes of Reuben and Gad agreed to go with the others across the Jordan to conquer the land.
Settling down and being fulfilled merely with the things around us is so tempting. The more we have, the easier it is to focus solely on this life. Rather than keeping our eyes on the promises of God, we tend to see the things around us and be satisfied with them. The danger is that we end up settling for much less.
The Christian faith is to be marked by a holy discontent with earthly treasures and that is easy to do when things are difficult. But as Christians, we need to long for Christ and his kingdom even when things are good, because we know Jesus is the greatest treasure. We are a blessed people living in a blessed land, therefor let’s remember to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus to obtain the ultimate prize – eternal life with Jesus.
Father, help me not to love earthly treasures more than you. We worship you for giving us the gift of your Son (John 3:16). In Jesus’ name, Amen.