March 25 – Mountaintops – Mount Hermon

Read Deuteronomy 3:1-29

“Deuteronomy” means literally “another law.”  In this book, Moses recounts important instruction and experiences from the previous books Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers.  Here in this chapter, he reviews the defeat of kings/peoples and the conquest of land east of the Jordan.

While the crossing of the Jordan and the conquest of the land to its west was part of the promise of God, two tribes had asked to live in this land.  The Gadites and Reubenites were granted permission.  Together with half the tribe of Manasseh, theirs would be the land from the Valley of Arnon in the south to a northern boundary of Mount Hermon.

There was, however, one caveat for Gad and Reuben.  When their Israelite brothers and sisters crossed the Jordan to engage in the conquest of the western land, their able bodied men were to go along in order to help secure victory.  Only after the other tribes were situated would they be permitted to return to their families and occupy the land from Arnon to Hermon.

God always has a bigger perspective, doesn’t He?  He always wants you to look beyond me and my.  I am sure it would have been preferable for Gad and Reuben to not move beyond the land that had already been secured.  But the Lord wanted them to look beyond their personal interests and even beyond their tribal interests to the broader interests of their brothers and sisters in other tribes.

It is no different for you.  You are instructed to “value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phil. 2:3b, 4)  You are to “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”  (Gal. 6:10)  If you are a follower of Jesus, you have been given at least one spiritual gift that you are to leverage to benefit others within the body of Christ.  (1 Cor. 12)

Your challenge today…and every day…is to raise your eyes beyond yourself.  It is to look further than your own area between Arnon and Hermon to those areas and people beyond.

Nate Harley

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