The Rewards of Obedience
Today’s reading: Numbers 32-33; Mark 10:1-31
16 Then they came near to him and said, “We will build sheepfolds here for our livestock, and cities for our little ones, 17 but we will take up arms, ready to go before the people of Israel, until we have brought them to their place. And our little ones shall live in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our homes until each of the people of Israel has gained his inheritance. Numbers 32:16-18
28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. Mark 10: 28-30
In two incidents separated by centuries, God’s people were called to leave their homes behind in order to obey Him. In the first case, the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh requested permission to take possession of the eastern lands that were conquered before the nation crossed the Jordan. Moses warned them that they would discourage the other tribes and possibly bring judgment on themselves similar to what the nation experienced when the spies had discouraged everyone from entering the Promised Land forty years earlier. The response of the tribes was excellent. They committed to fight till all the other tribes got their territories also. Moses was satisfied. Stay tuned to find out how this turned out.
In the second case, the disciples of Jesus left their homes to follow Him. Peter sounds wistful, but Jesus reassures him that they will receive much more than they gave up.
What about you? How has a life of obedience to God been costly to you? Have you given up home, relationships, or career possibilities? Trust Him that His rewards to His faithful followers are blessings out of this world.