Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you, to possess it.’”
To the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God gives you rest and will give you this land.’ Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle shall remain in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but you shall cross before your brothers in battle array, all your valiant warriors, and shall help them, until the Lord gives your brothers rest, as He gives you, and they also possess the land which the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to your own land, and possess that which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
They answered Joshua, saying, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you; only may the Lord your God be with you as He was with Moses. Anyone who rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous.”
Understanding And Applying the Text
When Joshua had taken all the necessary steps, it was time to proceed. Joshua issued the order for the people to prepare for the campaign. With confidence, he declared they will pass the Jordan after three days. He would not have done so without the help of the Spirit. There was no way of crossing the Jordan. There were no bridges or boats. There was nothing. The only thing was for God to transport them with a miracle. Joshua’s hope was not random. It was revealed to him by God. The people also had faith. This prompted their obedience.
In Numbers 32 Moses gave the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead to the Reubenites, Gadites, and ½ tribe of Manasseh. Moses gave it based on a condition. All the fighting men would cross over the Jordan and help the rest of the nation of Israel. They could return once they subdued the land west of the Jordan. Joshua reminded them of this.
The tribes of Reubenites, Gadites, and the ½ tribe of Manasseh kept their word. Moses granted their request. They received their land first. And their families were in relative safety. All the men of valor, or fighting men, took point in the conquest of the land of Canaan. Being at the head of the group meant they were to be the first in the battle, should there be an attack. They did not have their families to comfort them as the rest of the nation did.
God keeps his word and He requires that we keep our word. Christ said our word should be so good we should not have to take oaths or swear by anything. Matthew 5:37 “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” We can trust God’s word. As part of the bride of Christ, the church, we are His representative on earth. So our word should be as good as God’s. How good is your word?