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Torah Meditations – July 18, 2020 – Matot/Massei


What are our priorities? In our days when things are changing so quickly, we need to really stop and think about what we are making THE priority in our lives.   Pastor Mark brought out the backward priorities of the tribes of Reuben and Gad. Let’s take a look at how their priorities affected those around them.

Numbers 32:1 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of livestock: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that behold, the place was a place for livestock;

1. How do our priorities come from what we see or what catches our eye?

2. What did Reuben and Gad think of when they saw the land of Gilead? Did they think of feeding their multitude of cattle? Was that a greater priority than taking the Land that God was giving them?

Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

1. Notice, “the woman saw”. What happened after she “saw” the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and desirable for gaining wisdom?

2. Are the things that we are looking at causing us to have the right priorities?

3. Is it possible to see things, even things that appear to be good, and let what we see take us away from the right priorities? 

Numbers 32:5-7 They said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession; don’t bring us over the Jordan.” Moses said to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, “Shall your brothers go to the war, and shall you sit here? Why do you discourage the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD has given them?

1. Were the Reubenites and Gadites considering others, or thinking of their own gain? What did Moses think about this situation?

Numbers 13:32,33 So they gave the Israelites a bad report about the land that they had spied out: “The land we explored devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw there are great in stature. 33 We even saw the Nephilim there— the descendants of Anak that come from the Nephilim! We seemed like grasshoppers in our own sight, and we must have seemed the same to them!”

1. Explain how what the spies saw affected their report. Did the Word of the Lord matter to them?

2. How did both reports discourage the rest of the Israelites? 

3. When God heard this, how do you think it affected His heart? Was the land He was giving the Israelites inferior?

Numbers 32:16-18 They came near to him, and said, We will build sheepfolds here for our livestock, and cities for our little ones: but we ourselves will be ready armed to go before the children of Israel, until we have brought them to their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. We will not return to our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance.

1. As Pastor Mark pointed out, the priorities were obviously wrong. What was their first concern?

2. Why would their children need fortified cities? 

We are still in the month of Tammuz, the month of “sight” or “seeing”. Reuben and Gad saw land that would be good for their cattle. The spies saw giants that frightened them. Both allowed what they saw to become their priority whether it was riches or fear. Both of their reports were discouraging to the other people. In the following verses, God gives us a warning and a promise – Both about our eyes!

The Warning:

1 John 2:16  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions……

The Promise

Ephesians 1:18 Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

                                                    Is our Priority His Kingdom?

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