A friend of mine told me: “The only thing harder than waiting on God is wishing you had.” When our desires go unmet for a long time, it’s tempting to settle for second best and call it God’s will. That’s what the people of Reuben and Gad did.
The tribes of Reuben and Gad had huge herds, and the land of Gilead and Jazer had lush pastures. So they said to Moses:
Let this land be given to your servants as a possession; do not take us across the Jordan. —Numbers 32:5
They settled east of the Jordan River instead of crossing over into what God had promised.
Their choice shows us why we should never settle for second best with God.
When God’s Best isn’t Good Enough
Rather than wait on the Lord and receive the best of what He had planned for them on the west side of the Jordan River, they settled for what they saw in front of them. History bears the constant struggle these tribes would endure because they chose this land.
How often have we run ahead of the Lord instead of waiting for His best?
- A lonely believer marries an unbeliever.
- An eager couple makes a poor financial decision.
- A family joins a church for its location in spite of its doctrine.
Many people fail to see God work in their lives because they fail to wait on Him to supply.
Let us then look on what we have and give God thanks for it, and know that if we should have more, He would give more. —Richard Greenham
Why We Should Never Settle for Second Best with God
The Scriptures reveal the Lord can provide anything, anywhere, and at any moment:
- Food from heaven and water from a rock (Nehemiah 9:15)
- Bread and meat from ravens (1 Kings 17:6)
- A coin from a fish’s mouth (Matthew 17:27)
God’s promise to provide frees us to concern ourselves only with obedience to Him. We should never settle for second best because we only see today. God sees the implications for eternity.
The grass will always seem greener east of the Jordan. But can’t God also richly bless within His will?