Numbers 34 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“So Moses commanded the Israelites, “This is the land you are to receive by lots as an inheritance, which the L_rd commanded to be given to the nine and a half tribes. For the tribe of the Reubenites and the tribe of the Gadites have received their inheritance according to their ancestral houses, and half the tribe of Manasseh has received its inheritance. The two and a half tribes have received their inheritance across the Jordan from Jericho, eastward toward the sunrise. Num 34: 13-15

My wife and I used to be members of the Biltmore Society, a group of individuals who share a common concern over the preservation & continuance of Biltmore Mansion in North Carolina. Built by George Vanderbilt at the turn of the 19th Century, Biltmore Mansion is truly America’s castle.

Being “society members” included invitations to exclusive events & activities on the estate grounds. I recall wandering the mansion one evening, gazing into an oil portrait of George Vanderbilt. I wondered what he was like, that he would leave such a beautiful architectural legacy.

A friend of mine, close to the Vanderbilt family today, shared some personal insight into the “old family”. He said, “Of all the wealthy industrialist families of the 19 & 20th centuries, the Rockefellers, Fords, Gettys & Guggenheims & such, the Vanderbilts were the least charitable. With exceptions of a few college endowments and buildings, Vanderbilt money was mostly spent on the Vanderbilts. Their enduring legacies are monuments to themselves, hence compared to their potential impact, their contribution to society was primarily benign.”

My favorite country to visit is Israel. I love taking people there and watching the “lights come on”, as they walk & minister in the footsteps of Jesus. Israel is the most disputed plot of real estate in history. Something that never comes up in world politics, are disputes over the territories of Reuben, Gad, or Manasseh’s 1/2 tribe. The L_rd allowed them to chose to settle before entering the Promised land, but their choice was not a wise one. Eventually, that bad choice led to confusion and conflict between them and their Israelite brothers.

Within a few generations, because of regional conflict spurred-on by their separation from the greater community of Israel, these “settling tribes” were absorbed back into Israel, proper…having spoiled their claims to any land inside of Israel’s border.

Just because G_d allows us to choose our path, doesn’t mean it’s the path He’ll bless.

“A wicked man hardens his face: but as for the upright, He directs his way.” Proverbs 21:29

~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, June 10, 2014