Second Best Might Not Be as Good

We have a very interesting situation in Numbers chapter 32. Remember that God had established the eastern boundary of the promised land, the land that He was giving to Israel, as the Jordan River. But as the Israelites are poised to cross over, two and one half tribes of the 12 tribes come to Moses and propose that they would like to stay on the eastern side of the Jordan, not crossing the river, because they had lots of livestock and the grazing and pasture land was very good there. At first, Moses gets upset because he thinks that these tribes are deserting their brothers and refusing to help fight for the promised land. They didn’t intend this however, They promise to send the men over to fight, but when the battles are over, they plan to return to the other side of the river. Moses agrees with this plan but I find something interesting about this plan. Moses never seems to ask God if it is a good idea. As time unfolds, these two and a half tribes that stay on the eastern side of the Jordan, are the first tribes that ultimately are captured when the northern kingdom is overrun by Assyria.

I wonder if this really was what God intended, or if it was “second best”? I’m sure the land was good and it seemed like an OK plan, but if it was the best plan, why would God not have laid it out that way in the first place? I wonder if you see this in your life? You have a clear direction from God, usually found in the Bible but sometimes through prayer or the counsel of others, but you decide to do something else. You offer a compromise to make it look better or to make you feel better, and things go OK but what if you’ve missed a blessing or missed an opportunity that God had in mind by settling for “second best”? Don’t settle for second best. Trust God’s original plan. Don’t compromise…see what happens.



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