"We will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place." - Numbers 32:17
The promised land was just across the Jordan River, but the land on the near side of the river looked good for grazing. So the tribes of Reuben and Gad petitioned Moses to let them settle in that area. In doing so, they faced the temptation of settling in a place determined by their possessions rather than by the Lord's promise. When Moses challenged them, the tribes of Reuben and Gad agreed to go with the others across the Jordan to conquer the land.
Settling down and being fulfilled merely with the things around us is so tempting. The more we have, the easier it is to focus solely on this life. Rather than keeping our eyes on the promises of God, we tend to see the things around us and be satisfied with them.
Christian faith is marked by a holy discontent with earthly treasures. That's easy when things are difficult. But as Christians, we need to long for Christ and his kingdom even when things are good, because we know Jesus is the greatest treasure.
Can we be thankful for what we have while also longing for Christ? Yes, by remembering that Jesus had all the glories of heaven—and yet he emptied himself for us. He gave up the riches of heaven and became poor so that we might be rich in him (Philippians 2:1-11). Praise God!
Father, help me not to love earthly treasures more than you. We worship you for giving us the gift of your Son (John 3:16). In Jesus' name, Amen.