1. Relate the pre-existing history of the coming into Canaan, and the wars over a period of seven years.
2. Read the chapter.
I. OBEDIENCE, AN OPPORTUNITY FOR TRIUMPH.
A. Our conflicts with the enemies of our life are God's opportunities, in which He would see us triumph over ourselves.
B. God's liberal construction of our obedience.
1. He who says of our sins, "He that offendeth in one point is guilty of all," says no less of even our feeble and broken efforts, when they are rendered from a heart of love and truth, "Ye have kept all that was commanded of you."
C. Obedience as a duty.
1. "Brethren, what eber de good God tell me in dis blessed book to do, dat I'm gwine to do. If I see in it dat I must jump troo a stone wall, I'se gwine to jump at it. Going troo it belongs to God, jumpin at it belongs to me."
D. Obedience in all things.
1. To obey God in some things of religion, and not in others, shows an unsound heart.
2. A soul sinerely obedient will not pick and choose what commands to obey, and what to reject, as hypocrites do.
E. The benefits of obedience.
1. "He became unto all them that obey him, the author of eternal salvation." Heb. 5:9; Rom. 6:17,18.
II. FIDELITY AND ITS RESULTS.
A. Fidelity to brethren provoke the gratitude of brethren.
B. Fidelity to God elicited the commendation of God's servant.
C. Fidelity to men and God the only true fidelity to self.
III. ENTERING INTO REST
A. Rest according to the purpose and promise of God.
B. Rest through the service of our fellow-men.
1. The gift of God is appropriated through human efforts.
2. The efforts of others are made a necessary help to our own.
C. Rest won for others, thereby obtains and establishes our own.
1. The inheritance is richer.
2. The inheritance is more secure.
3. The inheritance is more complete.
D. In living for others, we give ourselves in vicarious conflicts, vicarious services, and vicarious suffering.
IV. REASONABLE SERVICE
VS 5. Rom. 12:1,2.
A. The duty to be done.
1. Do the commandment and the law. Walk in His ways.
B. The concern to be manifested.
1. Take diligent heed to do.
2. Anxious watchfulness.
3. Holy activity.
C. The spirit and power of performance.
1. Love the Lord your God.
2. Love would help them to discern the law.
3. Love would quicken their activity in doing the law.
4. Love would make them delight in the law.
D. The disposition to be cultivated.
1. Dependence and constancy.
2. Cleave unto Him.
3. Keep very near Him, you will less wish to depart from Him.
4. The force of attraction diminishes with distance of separation. Like a magnet separated from its object.
5. Humility and fidelity.
6. Serve Him. Do not object to serve. Serve Him only.
E. The honor to be rendered.
1. Service with undivided affection.
2. Serve Him with all your heart.
3. Service with all the strength of one's life and soul.
4. The word used is the word meaning life, by which we live.
5. To render life, is to want nothing in serving Him with mind, will, and energy.
V. BLESSING A MULTITUDE.
A. In this life men are often blessed in mass, and seemingly are all blessed alike.
1. God actually blesses men omitting none.
2. In blessing a multitude, God chooses to bless the wicked man too much rather than the faithful man too little.
B. The blessings of life, which seem uneven in their distribution, regulate themselves in the act of appropriation.
VI. THE DIVERGENT WAYS OF LIFE.
A. Life's separations.
1. As a matter of history.
a. Here was one half of the children of Manasseh going east of the Jordan, and one half staying west.
b. Part of the people were henceforth to be in one country, and part in another.
1) Life is full of similar examples. Separated tribes (as witnessed in the colonialization of Africa) separated families (as witnessed in the time of slavery in this country) and separated families.
2. Sometimes as a matter of necessity.
B. Life's separations arise imperceptibly.
1. Where did this division in the family of Manasseh begin?
2. What determined it?
3. On what day was it noted down, that one family was henceforth to be known in the nation as two halves?
4. What was the diverting cause?
5. Was it a difference of tastes, as between shepherd life and military life?
6. Just what was it that began to turn one half of the family in one direction and the other in another?
7. There are many questions, but no apparent scriptural answers.
a. Remember, that as far as we know, all the tribes were originally supposed to go across the Jordan and live. But these two and one half tribes requested that they be able to stay west of the Jordan.
VII. THE DISTRIBUTION OF LIFE'S GAINS.
A. The first fruits of the war to be offered to the Lord.
1. This was made imperative at the fall of Jericho. Jos. 6.
B. The chief spoils of the war permitted to be kept by the people.
C. The spoils kept by men to be used in cultivating a spirit well pleasing to God. "Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren."
1. A spirit of self-sacrifice.
2. A spirit of generosity.
3. A spirit of pleasure in the joy of others.
VIII. THE DELAYED INHERITANCE.
A. An inheritance completely won, but nevertheless conditional.
1. The land of Gilead and Bashan had been conquered for several years, no enemies remained to prevent possession.
B. An inheritance promised by God, but to be possessed through faithful obedience of men. Num. 32:16-33.
1. The service rendered had nothing to do with actually winning their own inheritance. That was already won.
C. An inheritance patiently waited for, through years of faithful service, and thus more fully enjoyed at last.
1. They returned to possess it, enjoying the praise of Joshua and glad in the consciousness that they had ardently striven to do the will of the Lord.
IX. THINGS TO BE DONE FOR GOD
A. Things to be done for God are things to be done first.
B. Things to be done for God are things to be done unanimously.
1. No dissenting voice among the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh.
2. Nothing is more provoking than strife in serving the Lord.
C. Things to be done for God are things to be done with all our hearts.
1. "They built a great alter to see to".
D. Things to be done for God are things to be done with prudence.
1. Ardour is not enough.
2. Fervor should be combined with wisdom.
3. What we intend by our works is important; how others may interpret them is of great consequence also.
X. CLEAVING UNTO THE LORD.
A. Men leaving much, but still possessing God.
1. Leaving their brethren.
2. Leaving the place where they had helped to win man victories.
3. Leaving a lan where they had been blessed with much of Jehovah's gracious aid.
4. Leaving the place of God's more manifest abode (Shiloh).
5. Leaving all this behind, they still retained their possession in the Lord Himself.
a. Whatever we are called upon to forsake, we need not leave Him.
B. Men possessing God, and esteeming their inheritance in Him above all else that they had.
1. Above home comforts.
2. Above their dearest relatives.
3. Above their earthly estate.
4. Above the estate that had been given them by God Himself.
C. Men possessing God for themselves, and anxious to secure for their children the same exalted inheritance.
1. The altar was not merely a memorial of the past, but still more a witness for the future.
XI. THE MISUNDERSTOOD AND MISREPORTED DEEDS OF MEN.
A. A good work misapprehended and presently misreported.
1. The work was misunderstood.
2. Presently the work was misrepresented.
B. Judgment founded on appearances and on rumour, instead of after enquiry.
C. War threatened hastily, and without sufficient occasion.
1. A war threatened in the name of religion.
2. A war threatened for the want of a word. Alter.
XII. NARROW-MINDED JUDGMENT AND LARGE-HEARTED LOVE.
A. The one-sidedness of human judgment.
1. The act was judged apart from its motive.
a. The judges looked wholly at the altar and not at the heart.
2. Many were led by the opinion of the few.
3. Past sin was remembered in one aspect, only to rush into an opposite extreme in another direction.
a. Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us?
B. The vehemence of religious zeal.
C. The comprehensiveness and beauty of love.
1. The beauty of love to God.
2. The beuty of lvoe for truth. 3. The beauty of love towards those who were sincerely thought to be offending brethren.
1. When reading this account or hearing of it in the past, did you ever stop to thing what these two and a half tribes did on this occasion?
2. They agreed to leave their land that had already been secured from the enemy.
3. They agreed to leave their wives, children and other loved ones behind to go across the river and fight.
4. They agreed to leave all their cattle, etc.
5. Have you stopped to consider how long they were gone? They were gone for seven long years.
6. When the battles were over and the victories won, they headed back across the river to their own people and property.
7. When they came to the banks of the Jordan and before they crossed to their own place, they determined to build an altar of stones as a witness that even though they were going across the river they were still a part of the whole nation of Israel.
8. But, even though they had given up seven years of their lives to help their brethren secure their lands from the enemy, their brethren were ready to attack them because of a misunderstanding.
9. But things finally turned out well and all rejoiced. What a wonderful story this is.
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