Stay Focused On The Goal Num. 32:1, 5-8, 16-18, 20-24; 33:51-53 Jan. 08, 2012
Once I heard a man ask, “do you establish goals for your day to day routine, or do you just ask the Lord to help you to just wander aimlessly around?” That challenged me to think more seriously about establishing goals for my life. I have noticed that people who set goals for their life seem to accomplish more with their time and God given talents. In the title of this lesson the emphasis is Stay Focused On The Goal.
1. Stay Focused on the Goal . . Realizing it’s Not Just About Me. Num. 32:1, 5-8
A. Stay Focused on the Goal of the . . Promise Land. 32:1, 5-6
32 The Reubenites and Gadites had a very large number of livestock. When they surveyed the lands of Jazer and Gilead, they saw that the region was a good one for livestock. 5 They said, "If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession. Don't make us cross the Jordan."
6 But Moses asked the Gadites and Reubenites, "Should your brothers go to war while you stay here?
B. Stay Focused on the Goal of . . Pursuing the Promised Land. 32:7-8
7 Why are you discouraging the Israelites from crossing into the land the Lord has given them? 8 That's what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land.
The Children of Israel knew they were on their way to the promised land. For the tribes of Ruben and Gad
the livestock trade was so good and the land of Jazer and Gilead so good they thought why don’t we just stay here. Moses reminded them that they had an obligation to all the tribes to pursue the promise land. The goal
was not just about them and what they thought was good for business. Moses told these people that they were discouraging their fellow tribesmen. He then reminded them how their fathers caused discouragement years earlier.
2. Stay Focused on the Goal . . Reach Out to Others. Num. 32:16-18
A. Stay Focused on the Goal . . Approach the Leader with Your Plan. 32:16-17a
16 Then they approached him and said, "We want to build sheep folds here for our livestock and cities for our dependents. 17 But we will arm ourselves and be ready to go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them into their place.
B. Stay Focused on the Goal . . Announce Your Commitment To The Goal. 32:17b-18
Meanwhile, our dependents will remain in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our homes until each of the Israelites has taken possession of his inheritance.
These tribes must have realized their seeming lack of loyalty to the goal of helping all get to the Promised land. So they approached Moses with a plan to arm themselves and go before Israel. They further announced a commitment to not return to their people until all of Israel had taken possession of their inheritance. This seems like a much better commitment to the goal than earlier suggested.
3. Stay Focused on the Goal . . Remember to Fulfill Obligations. Num. 32:20-24
A. Stay Focused on the Goal . . Confirm Your Intent As Warriors. 32:20-22
20 Moses replied to them, "If you do this—if you arm yourselves for battle before the Lord, 21 and every one of your armed men crosses the Jordan before the Lord until He has driven His enemies from His presence, 22 and the land is subdued before the Lord—afterwards you may return and be free from obligation to the Lord and to Israel. And this land will belong to you as a possession before the Lord.
B. Stay Focused on the Goal . . Committed To God’s Plan. 32:23-24
23 But if you don't do this, you will certainly sin against the Lord; be sure your sin will catch up with you. 24 Build cities for your dependents and folds for your flocks, but do what you have promised."
Moses confirmed to these men their need to be committed to their obligation as warriors. They would be free from this commitment only after they would see the land subdued and all of Israel settled in the promised land. Moses reminded them that if they did not do this they would be sinning against the Lord and their sin would catch up with them. Finally he told them to do what they had promised to do.
4. Stay Focused on the Goal . . Rejoice as you Live for God. Num. 33:51-53
A. Stay Focused on the Goal . . Destroying as God Directs. 33:51-52a
51 "Tell the Israelites: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 you must drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you, destroy all their stone images and cast images, . . .”
B. Stay Focused on the Goal . . Demonstrating Faithfulness To God’s Plan. 33:52b-53
“. . . and demolish all their high places. 53 You are to take possession of the land and settle in it because I have given you the land to possess.
In our day of tolerance it seems unusual for God to tell the warriors to drive out all the people living in the land. But this is the land God promised as the land for Israel to inhabit. I don’t know much about war but it seems to me in the last few wars our nation has been in; that we have not fought like God advised Israel and in my opinion that is a mistake. The pagan nations and their false worship could cause conflict for the worship of Israel. They were to possess the land the Lord gave them and to Stay Focused On The Goal. Amen? Amen!
(For a more detailed outline go to: (http://www.preachhim.org/SundaySchoolIndex.html)