“The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war. And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and He was intreated of them; because they put their trust in Him…” 1 Chronicles 5:18-20
“…And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them.” 1 Chronicles 5:25 (KJV)
These tribes had their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan River. They had to fight to keep it. It is believed that these Hagarites were a desert people, that were growing restless due to the numbers of Israelites dwelling in the land.
They attack, and by the prayers of God’s people have God’s help in the victory over the Hagarites. “They cried to God in the battle…” He heard them, gave them the victory, because they trusted Him.
The people of God are warned to trust only in Him; remember the first commandment – “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Then these 2 and one half tribes transgress the law.
Because of the transgression God sent Tilgathpilneser to judge and discipline them to bring them back to Himself.
“And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.” (v. 26)
God does not leave His people without discipline, without correction, without judgment. Peter says, “Judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). One thing we must remember; and that is that “God loves us the way we are when we are coming to Him, but He loves us too much to leave us the way we are.” He will accomplish His work in us. He will be glorified.