Scripture Reading: Numbers 36, I Samuel 8
Num 36:5 “Then Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the Lord, saying, “What the tribe of the sons of Joseph speaks is right.””
I Sam 8:7 “And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”
Here in this passage the fathers of the tribe of Manasseh came to Moses and placed their desire or concern before God through Moses. God saw their issue and desire and He gave Moses His approval and counsel. If we see here, God acknowledges their issue and approves their heart desire by giving them counsel, so that the inheritance will not go to another tribe.
In another incident in I Sam chapter 8, when the children of Israel came to Samuel and asked for a King according to their desire, God still granted them their desire, but He was displeased with their desire. Their desire did not pleased God because they rejected God as king in their spirit, but wanted a king according to their flesh. They wanted to walk by sight and not by faith. This attitude displeased God. Our God is merciful for both godly and ungodly. He still gave Samuel the counsel of establishing a king over Israel according to the flesh.
Two things we can see here:
- God granted the desire of the fathers of the tribe of Manasseh when they placed their desire before God
- God granted the desire of the fathers of the tribe of Israel even though it displeased God
God did not approve King David’s desire to build a temple for Him, but He granted the tribe of Manasseh their desire. The point here is, when we place our desire before God, He approves or disapproves according to His sovereign will. At the same time, God sometimes approves our desire even though it displeases Him. Therefore, it is always good for us to know what the will of God is in a specific matter or an issue by placing our desire, if any before Lord God. It is also equally important to check whether that desire of ours will please God before it was presented to God.
The way we live will determine our desires. If the Holy Spirit leads us then our desire will be a righteous desire. If the flesh leads us then our desire would not please God. We cannot have a desire on one thing with the flesh and the other thing with the Holy Spirit; we cannot serve two masters. We will please one and despise the other. We have to remember this when we present our desire before God and have immense pleasure in us. The choice to please Him is ours and the choice to satisfy our desire is His.