‘An altar of conflict’

Joshua 22:1-34.

Today, Joshua told the Rebeunites, Gadites and half tribe of Manasseh that they have fulfilled the commandment that Moses gave them in helping their brothers posses their lands across Jordan, and now they are free to their own lands.

He also reminded them as they leave to remember God’s laws, to love him and walk in his ways, serving him with all their heart and soul. And so these tribes returned to Gilead, their land of possession.

However, things took a new turn when these two and half tribes built an altar over against the land of Canaan in the borders of Jordan. Infact the remaining tribes were ready to go to war with them, wondering why they would ‘disobey’ God in building another altar- ‘having another God aside him’.

When elders and leaders were however sent to these tribes to discuss the issue, much clarity was gained on the matter. These two and half tribes had built the altar in order to serve as a witness for future generations to come. It was to remind their own children’s children that they belong to Israel and to the Lord, and not to depart from Him.

When the elders heard the reason given by these tribes, they were pleased. They returned to canaan to the remaining group who heard the same message and were also pleased. The altar was called Ed ( a witness between us that Lord is God).

Dialogue could achieve so much more than confrontation. Striving for understanding wins over going to war. May we not may haste when we are supposed to make way.

Some verses to remember:
Vs 5 : But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

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