ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 274


Then the Lord was very angry with them, and he vowed, ‘Of all those I
rescued from Egypt, no one who is twenty years old or older will ever see
the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for they have not
obeyed me wholeheartedly. The only exceptions are Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they have wholeheartedly
followed the Lord.’
“The Lord was angry with Israel and made them wander in the wilderness for forty years until the entire generation that sinned in the Lord’s
sight had died. But here you are, a brood of sinners, doing exactly the same
thing! You are making the Lord even angrier with Israel. If you turn away
from him like this and he abandons them again in the wilderness, you will
be responsible for destroying this entire nation!”
But they approached Moses and said, “We simply want to build pens
for our livestock and fortified towns for our wives and children. Then we
will arm ourselves and lead our fellow Israelites into battle until we have
brought them safely to their land. Meanwhile, our families will stay in the
fortified towns we build here, so they will be safe from any attacks by the
local people. We will not return to our homes until all the people of Israel
have received their portions of land. But we do not claim any of the land
on the other side of the Jordan. We would rather live here on the east side
and accept this as our grant of land.”
Then Moses said, “If you keep your word and arm yourselves for the
Lord’s battles, and if your troops cross the Jordan and keep fighting until
the Lord has driven out his enemies, then you may return when the Lord
has conquered the land. You will have fulfilled your duty to the Lord and
to the rest of the people of Israel. And the land on the east side of the Jordan will be your property from the Lord. But if you fail to keep your word,
then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you may be sure that your
sin will find you out. Go ahead and build towns for your families and pens
for your flocks, but do everything you have promised.”
Then the men of Gad and Reuben replied, “We, your servants, will follow your instructions exactly. Our children, wives, flocks, and cattle will
stay here in the towns of Gilead. But all who are able to bear arms will cross
over to fight for the Lord, just as you have said.”
So Moses gave orders to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the
leaders of the clans of Israel. He said, “The men of Gad and Reuben who
are armed for battle must cross the Jordan with you to fight for the Lord.
If they do, give them the land of Gilead as their property when the land is
conquered. But if they refuse to arm themselves and cross over with you,
then they must accept land with the rest of you in the land of Canaan.”
The tribes of Gad and Reuben said again, “We are your servants, and
we will do as the Lord has commanded! We will cross the Jordan into

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