Summary: how do we avoid confrontations?
We noted last week, the war was over and the Promised land was taken by Israelites with God’s miraculous interventions. The 40000 soldiers from the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Mannaseh along with their families now settled in the lands God reserved for them. We see these lands here in our map (show map_)….
Let us note a few important geographical spots relevant to our story today… Jordan River, Shiloh, Geliloth (near Jericho)
Open your Bibles now to Joshua 22… and read along with me v9-34…..
Let’s summarize the story.
v9: It was peacetime in Canaan (a time to rest and live for God)!
v10: the last tribes to settle built an imposing altar (not on their side of the Jordan)!
v11-20: hatred and accusations came from the Israelites on the west side of the Jordan:
a. Ready to war against the 3 Tribes
b. Confronted the 3 Tribes of “sinning” against God
c. Brought up past problems and hurts
In v21-23, we read how the 3 Tribes who built the altar responded; in general, what was their response??
v21-23: the hearts of the 3 Tribes were right before the Lord in building the altar!
And we note why they built it in v24-29: the altar was built with the intent to unite all Israel, both sides of the Jordan River, all to worship One God!
And so, once there was an understanding of the situation that it was all for the Lord,
v30-34: There was unity and praise to God!
What can we learn from this story?
Show map again….
First of all, just because there was a river between the 12 Tribes, how did God see them??
The 12 Tribes were as One Chosen People Israel and they should have seen each other that way! And so,
1. We must see all Believers of Christ as One with God, especially in the church. Let me interject here again one of the reasons we call for membership in the church, because all Members publically profess to be Believer of Christ and therefore we are truly united!
Secondly, what did the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Half of Manasseh do wrong in building the altar not on their side of the Jordan River??
2. We must communicate with each other what we are doing within the church, to try and alleviate misunderstandings!
Now, what did the Israelites on the west side of the Jordan River did wrong??
3. We must not accuse others in the church because of assumptions or fears!
And in closing, what were the things that were (4.) done right to unite and please God??
a. There was an opportunity for dialogue (there was a meeting).
b. The accused actually had a right godly motive.
c. Both sides listened to each other!
They you notice how the accused never interrupted the accuser from talking? And then, the accusersstopped talking and listened carefully!
d. There was understanding and forgiveness on both sides!
These are the things we must all consider when there is a confrontation.
But we must also add one more thing they should have done!
What was one important thing that that should have been done that we don’t read in the passage??
Prayer – talking to God about what we are about to do is crucial to our success in life!!