The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad came to Moses and stated their plan to make live east of the Jordan and not the land of Canaan. This displeased Moses because he saw their plan as rebellion against the Lord. Forty years prior, spies were sent into the land of Canaan; one spy from each tribe. Caleb who represented the tribe of Judah and Joshua who represented the tribe of Ephraim came back with a positive report but the other ten spies gave a negative report. Caleb and Joshua were focused on the promise but the other spies were focused on the strength of the people who occupied the land. The congregation listened to fear rather than the promise, thus they rebelled against the Lord and were sentenced to wander in the wilderness for forty years, until that generation died. Now a new generation camped east of the Jordan, ready to cross the Jordan and enter the promise land. When the leaders of Rueben and the leaders of Gad came to Moses, he made the assumption that they were rebelling like their fathers but they were not. They planned to build cities, pens and barns east of the Jordan. However, the men twenty years old and older, who were able to go to war would cross the Jordan until their brothers received their inheritance. It took some convincing but Moses understood and their plan was expectable in the sight of the Lord.
Jesus said, John 7:24
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
I think Numbers 32 is an example of how not to judge. Thus, it is an example of how Jesus is better than Moses. Moses assumed that the tribes of Rueben and the tribes of Gad were rebelling like their fathers did. However, they were not, but Moses did not listen to everything that they had to say before he made his judgment. When they spoke again, Moses had all of the facts by which he might make a righteous judgment. Moses had judged according to appearances; therefore, he did not make a righteous judgment. Once he had the facts, he made a righteous judgment. The apostle James wrote, “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” (Jam 1:19-20) On this occasion, Moses was slow to hear, quick to speak and quick to get angry. However, once he did hear, his anger subsided and he made a righteous judgment.
Brothers and sisters of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us have all the facts before making a judgment. Do not judge people according to appearances. Listen to all that someone has to say and even then, do not be angry. We need to listen to all that someone says and even then, do not make a judgment, but seek clarity. When you first speak, be inquisitive to bring clarity to what the other person is truly saying.