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Moses Reproves the Reubenites.

Moses Reproves the Reubenites.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.



Numb, xxxii. 6, 7. And Moses said unto the children of Gad,
and to the children of Reuhen, Shall your brethren go to
war, and shall ye sit here P And ivhenfore discourage ye
the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the
land luhich the Lord hath given themP
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.



Numb, xxxii. 6, 7. And Moses said unto the children of Gad,
and to the children of Reuhen, Shall your brethren go to
war, and shall ye sit here P And ivhenfore discourage ye
the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the
land luhich the Lord hath given themP

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 16, 2014
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MOSES REPROVES THE REUBEITES. BY REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. umb, xxxii. 6, 7. And Moses said unto the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuhen, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here P And ivhenfore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land luhich the Lord hath given themP ACTIOS are good or evil according to the motives from which they proceed : but, as these are known only to God, it must often happen that our conduct is either viewed in too favourable a light, or subjected to unmerited censure. Our inability to dive into the hearts of men should certainly incline us at all times to lean rather to the side of charity, L 2 and 148 UMBERS, XXXII. 6, 7. \^130. and to hope and believe all things of a favourable nature, as far as circumstances will admit. This consideration however is not to operate so far as to blind our eyes to what is manifesly evil, or to keep us from reproving those who act amiss. Magistrates in particular must proceed with firmness in sup- pressing wickedness of every kind, and by timely interference must stop the contagion of bad example. Thus did Moses, when the Reubenites and Gadites presented a request to him, which he deemed injuri- ous to all the other tribes. They asked to have the land on the east side of Jordan for their portion, in- stead of any part of the land of Canaan : and Moses, conceiving their request to proceed from improper
 
and unjustifiable motives, expostulated with them, and reproved them with great severity. Let us consider, I. The grounds of his jealousy — There was ample reason for the fears he enter- tained respecting them — [Their request seemed to be dictated by selfishness, U'orldli-' ness, and imhelief. As soon as Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og the king of Bashan were subdued, and their fertile territories were seized, these two tribes requested to have the exclusive pos- session of their land, under a pretence that it was pre-eminently suited to them, on account of the number of their flocks and herds. As for their brethren belonging to the other ten tribe», let them go and fight their way among the Canaanites, and get possession of whatever they could : but the land which was already subdued, and which was of the richest quality, they desired to have allotted to themselves without any further trouble. This land was not within the precincts of Canaan : moreover, it would be far removed from the ordinances of religion and from the house of God: but they did not seem to regard either of these considerations in comparison of an ample, easy, and imme- diate settlement. The inhabitants of the promised land were exceeding numerous and warlike ; and could never be dispossessed without many san- guinary contests. Perhaps, after all, the victory over them might be dearly pnrchased, or possibly might never be attained : hence also might arise the willingness of the suitors to forego their share in what was uncertain, if they might be permitted to possess what was already gained. Such was the construction which Moses put upon the conduct of
 
130.] MOSES REPROVES THE REUBEITES. 149 of these two tribes, and such was the ground of those reproofs which he administered.] And is there not ground for similar fears whenever a similar conduct obtains ? [If a Minister at this day see his hearers selfish, mindful of their own comforts, but inattentive to the wants and miseries of others, has he not reason to fear concerning them ? When it is eminently characteristic of the true Christian to " mind, not his own things, but the things of others %" and there is a manifest failure in this respect amongst his people, ought he not to be '' jealous over them with a godly jealousy," and to warn them of their self-deceit? Again, if he observe any professors of religion to have become worldly ; if he find them so intent on their present interests, as to be comparatively indifferent about the ordinances of reli- gion, and the ultimate possession of the heavenly land ; if he see them studious of their present ease, and averse to spiritual con- flicts, must he not of necessity " stand in doubt of" such persons? Does not love itself require him to " change his voice towards them, and to adopt the language of admonition and reproof ? Once more, if he see them yielding to unbelief, and resting satisfied with a present portion, through desponding apprehen- sions respecting the attainment of a better inheritance, does it become him to be silent ? Ought he not to exert himself in every way to repress such a spirit, and to stimulate his people to a more becoming conduct ? Must he wait for open and notorious trans- gressions before he opens his lips in expostulations and reproofs ? o surely : the example of Moses in the text, and of St. Paul on various occasions'', shews, what are the emotions which every such instance should produce, and what methods every faithful Minister should adopt to counteract such evils.] Whilst we justify Moses on reviewing the grounds

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