Now that the LORD your God has given your brothers rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan.
The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned to the eastern side of the Jordan. They had fulfilled their promise to Moses and Joshua by joining the fight to assure the other tribes had a secure foothold in the land west of the Jordan. Therefore, the time had come for them to leave the other nine and one-half tribes and go back to their families. The common task of securing the land had kept all of the tribes unified.
The relationships that the tribes of Israel experienced would never again be the same. Change can be bittersweet, evoking both happy and sad emotions. Death, illness, divorce, and job changes produce many different emotions. The Lord directs us in His Word in ways to remain stable as we go through these changes, looking to Him for stability. God never changes, and when our lives feel like shifting sand, He is always our sure foundation.
James writes that God does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
Most people do not like change. It is easier to live with the familiar than to experience change, but the Lord calls us to be willing to change as He directs. God called Abraham to leave the familiar – his country, his home, his friends – and go to a distant land: The Lord had said to Abram, “leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)
He was called out of the familiar into a place that God would show him! It must have been hard enough to leave, but to leave and not know where you were going had to be difficult. But Abraham was able to endure the change with all of its uncertainty because he trusted God.
Change produces anxiety because we like the familiar, but change that the Lord brings produces peace and joy as we step into the place to which we are called. Has the Lord called you to a season of change? The only way you can enter fully into the new season is to let go of the old. God will bless you as he did Abraham when you step out and trust him.
Heavenly Father, Change produces fear and anxiety in me. I am comfortable with my life, but I recognize that You are taking me to a new place. I release the familiar to You and embrace this season of change. In Jesus’ name, Amen