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Disconnected Tribes

Words of Faith Final

Disconnected Tribes

Words of Faith 9-23-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Joshua 13

    When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, the Lord said to him, "You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over…  [6b]  Be sure to allocate this land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have instructed you, [7] and divide it as an inheritance among the nine tribes and half of the tribe of Manasseh." [8] The other half of Manasseh, the Reubenites and the Gadites had received the inheritance that Moses had given them east of the Jordan, as he, the servant of the Lord, had assigned it to them.


       The conquest of Canaan took several years and is documented in Joshua 10-12.  As an aging leader, Joshua was next called on to divide the land.  This was a confirmation of what had already been done by Moses on the Jordan's east side.

       There were some advantages to living on the east side and some dangers. The east side of the Jordan was a rich land that was immediately available. It was also not as well protected. 

       The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, possessing large herds of cattle, were anxious to settle in the rich grazing lands east of the Jordan. But only after their men agreed to fight alongside their brothers to win Canaan proper did Moses agree to give them this land (Numbers 32).

       There is a thoughtful question to be asked here.  Was the two and one-half tribes' desire to settle on the east of the Jordan River a wise one?

       History would seem to answer no. These territories had no natural boundaries to the east. They were disconnected from the other tribes. They were constantly exposed to invasion by the Moabites, Canaanites, Arameans, Midianites, Amalekites, and others. When the king of Assyria looked covetously toward Canaan, Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh were the first to be carried into captivity by the Assyrian armies (1 Chronicles 5:26).

        The land east of the Jordan was a tempting place to settle in many ways.  There were no battles to be fought to secure it.  It was an easy and open land to inhabit.  The land to the east of the Jordan was even away from the other tribes so that there would be no friction.

       But the easy path is not always the wisest. There was no protection in this open frontier.  The perils were great.

        In our walk with God, we sometimes choose a path east of the Jordan.  It is common to prefer a place in life where there are no battles or hard work to do. We prefer the open spaces where we do not have to learn to get along with others.  We take to the easier locations which have no challenge or difficulty.  Sadly, these can also be very dangerous places.

        There is nothing wrong with settling on the “east side,” a more remote place. But living there will require greater effort and intentionality to make the bigger connections.

        We see the danger among some Christians who live life "disconnected."  Many Christian believers choose the easier path of not being connected to a local church body. They claim the gift of salvation. But with an abundance of Christian media, they reason that there is no real need for church. And after all, church can be messy and difficult. Church usually requires work.

        But when we choose to be a disconnected Christian, we are in a place similar to the two and one-half tribes who settled east of the Jordan. We enjoy God's blessing and the blessing of an easier path, but we find ourselves in an unprotected place.  There are no natural boundaries. We can be easily attacked and easily carried off. We also are not available to come to the aid of others.

        Where have you settled? Are you in a spiritual place that is near God but not His church? Are you making focused efforts to be connected? Are you prepared to be of aid to others in the larger body? Something to think about.


        Father God, keep me from the easy path. Keep me focused on You but also connected to Your Body. Draw me close to the assembly for protection and for rendering mutual aid. In Jesus’ Name.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2005, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.