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SHALL YOUR BRETHREN GO TO WAR WHILE YOU SIT HERE?

"SHALL YOUR BRETHREN GO TO WAR WHILE YOU SIT HERE?"
		

		 
Numbers 32:6
		

		 
INTRODUCTION
		

		 
1. Prior to 
		
			Israel's occupation of the Promised Land, the tribes of 
		
   Reuben and Gad wanted to settle in the land east of the 
		
			Jordan
		

		 
2. Their request and Moses' response are found in Num 32:1-27, and havepractical application to our service in the church today
		

		 
[Let's begin our study with a review of...]
		

		 
I. THE HISTORICAL ACCOUNT IN NUMBERS
		

		 
   A. REUBEN AND GAD EXPRESS THEIR DESIRE...
		
      1. They were two tribes with much livestock - Num 32:1a
		
      2. They saw that the 
		land of 
		Jazer and Gilead (the 
		Transjordan)was good for livestock - Num 32:1b
		
      3. So they requested to be given the land as their possession, and not taken over the Jordan river with the rest of 
		
			Israel - Num 32:2-5
		

		 
   B. MOSES RESPONDS...
		
      1. "Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here?" - Num 32:6
		
         a. Shall they be at ease, while their brethren must fight?
		
         b. Was it not with their brethren's help that the land they desire is now available?
		
      2. How Moses viewed their request...
		
         a. They would discourage their brethren - Num 32:7
		
         b. They would be no different than the ten spies
		
            1) Who discouraged 
		
			Israel by their report - Num 32:8-9
		
            2) Who aroused God's anger against them - Num 32:10-13
		
         c. They would be a brood of sinful men, and increase God's anger against 
		
			Israel - Num 32:14
		
         d. They would in essence destroy God's people! - Num 32:15
		

		 
   C. AN AGREEMENT IS REACHED...
		
      1. Reuben and Gad offer to send their soldiers to help possess the Promised Land - Num 32:16-19
		
      2. Moses agrees, but with a stern warning - Num 32:20-23
		
         a. The land they desire will be theirs if they carry through
		
            with their offer
		
         b. But if they don't keep their agreement...
		
            1) They will have sinned against the Lord!
		
            2) Be sure their sin will find them out!
		

		 
[In 1Co 10:11 we are told that what happened to 
		
			Israel serves as an example to us, and was written for our admonition.  With this in mind, let's consider the following...]
		

		 
II. APPLICATION FOR US TODAY
		

		 
   A. LIKE 
			
				ISRAEL, WE ARE AT WAR...
		
      1. A spiritual war, to be sure - 2Co 10:3-5 - For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 dFor the weapons eof our warfare are not 1carnal but fmighty in God gfor pulling down strongholds, 5 hcasting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
		

      2. A war against Satan, and the spiritual forces of wickedness - Ep 6:10-18 - Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 lPut on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the 2wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against mprincipalities, against powers, against nthe rulers of 3the darkness of this age, against spiritualhosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 oTherefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand pin the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, qhaving girded your waist with truth, rhaving put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 sand having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking tthe shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And utake the helmet of salvation, andvthe sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 wpraying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, xbeing watchful to this end with all perseverance andysupplication for all the saints—


		 
      -- The Lord's army (the church) fights this battle as her members
		
         serve in such areas as evangelism, edification and benevolence
		

		 
   B. MUCH HAS BEEN DONE UP TO THE PRESENT...
		
      1. Many have stood for the truth in the past
		
      2. Making it possible for us today:
		
         a. To know the truth of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ
		
         b. To worship God in spirit and truth
		
         c. To enjoy the blessings of God's family
		
      3. But the war wages on!
		
         a. Every thought must be brought captive to Christ - 2Co 10:5 - casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
		
         b. We must continue to stand strong against the wiles of the devil - Ep 6:11
		

		 
   C. SHALL OUR BRETHREN GO TO WAR WHILE WE SIT HERE?
		
      1. By lettings others do the work of the Lord's army?
		
      2. Shall we just sit, enjoying the efforts of others?
		
         a. The efforts of those who labored in the past?
		
         b. The efforts of those who labor now, making it possible for
		
            us to enjoy the blessings of fellowship and worship?
		
      -- If not actively involved in some phase of the Lord's work,
		
         that is exactly what we are doing!
		

		 
   D. IF WE ARE SITTING, WHAT IS THE EFFECT?
		
      1. We discourage our brethren! - cf. Num 32:7
		
         a. Who often must carry the burden alone
		
         b. Who easily get "burned out" trying to do it all
		
      2. Lack of involvement is just as detrimental as active oposition!
		
         a. The slothful is a brother to him who destroys - Pr 18:9
		
         b. If we do not gather, then we scatter; there is no neutral round! - Mt 12:30 = He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
		
      -- Like just sitting in a wagon, instead of pulling or pushing, w hinder its progress!
		

		 
   E. WHAT WILL BE THE END RESULT?
		
      1. We will have sinned against the Lord! - cf. Num 32:23a
		
         a. For what one does or doesn't do for the church, it affects Christ. 
		

         b. As Paul learned when he persecuted the church - Ac 9:1-5 - Then aSaul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked bletters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3 cAs he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, dwhy are you persecuting Me?”

5 And he said, "Who are You, Lord?”

Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 1It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”


		 
         c. Yes, when we sin against the brethren, we sin against Christ - 1Co 8:12
		
      2. Be sure that our sin will find us out!
		
         a. It will come out in the growth of the congregation
		
            1) Proper growth is possible only if ALL are doing their part- Ep 4:15-16 - but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the thead—Christ— 16 ufrom whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
		
            2) Growth may occur with inactive members, but the growth will be stunted, retarded, handicapped!
		
         b. It will come out on the Day of Judgment!
		
            1) When we have to answer for our laziness!
		
            2) Remember the parable of The Talents? - cf. Mt 25:24-30
		

		 

		 
CONCLUSION
		

		 
1. When Reuben and Gad realized the effect of sitting while their brethren went to war, they immediately made arrangements to do their part
		
   a. Moses was even patient with them, allowing them time to care for their families - Num 32:24 - Build cities for your little ones and folds for your sheep, and do 2what has proceeded out of your mouth.”
		
   b. They in turn promised to do their part in going to war - Num 32:25-27
		
   -- Certainly we can be patient in helping our brethren prepare for "war", if need be
		

		 
2. But may we all determine not to rest until the work is done, by  resolving to be...
		
   a. More diligent in the spiritual battle we face!
		
   b. More active in whatever area of service for which we are best suited!
		

		 
3. Let your brethren know that you desire to serve, and not just sitwhile others work!
		

		 
Are you in the army of Christ, actively engaged in the service of His kingdom?
		

 




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