On their return from Egypt, the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half-tribe of Manasseh were allocated their portions of land on the east side of the Jordan. Moses then charged them to leave their inheritance behind and cross over the Jordan with the other tribes to the western side in order to help them take over their lands too. Already, their enemies – Canaanites, the Amelakites, Perrizites, Hivites, Hittites, etc were all over the land.
The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh obeyed this command and joined forces with their brothers and helped conquer the entire territory. Joshua, the man of God at a gathering in Shiloh called to thank God and do the final allotment of lands commended the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, “for a long time you have not deserted your brothers but have carried out the mission the Lord gave you.”
To desert is to abandon or forsake. It is to leave someone who needs or counts on you in the lurch (difficult or vulnerable situation). In 2 Timothy 4:10, Apostle Paul complained, “For Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.” Paul was in prison by then and was gradually approaching his death. He needed help and encouragement yet Demas deserted him to seek pleasure at Thessalonica.
When our brothers are in pain, trouble, or sickness, do we do all things within our means to help them or we desert them?