As the saying goes, “short term gain, long term loss.” At this point I don’t know the consequences of the tribes’ request, but it seems like they are “settling”..
Settling for second best? There is an eternal gap between God’s best and man’s best.
Though we shouldn’t be quick to judge the tribes of Reuben and Gad – I know it’s easier to trust what you can see and can (seemingly) control, than what you cannot see and cannot control. It’s right there, this will do. Why go through all the hard work?
Moses, truly a leader, considers the effect of this request to the other tribes. They might see this as a way to escape the difficulties they know they will have to face – even though God is the one who will do most of the actual work. He is afraid that the unbelief of the fathers has been passed down to the children, and another generation of Israelites will not be able to claim the promise.
After the tribes assured Moses of their intention to fulfill their responsibilities to their Israelite brothers, Moses accepted and gave in to their request.
I wonder how this decision will turn out later on.