Since Carly cites 21 in her prompt, I will focus on this madness in 22.
The tribes who faithfully conquered the land west of the Jordan are sent home, commended for their faithfulness; and their first move is to build an alter.
“And the sons of Israel heard it said, ‘behold, the sons of Rueben and the sons of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region of the Jordan, on the side belonging to the sons of Israel.’ When the sons of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the sons of Israel gathered themselves at Shiloh to go up against them in war.” (22:11-12)
Talk about a quickly escalating misunderstanding! This feels way too relatable. We discover the true purpose of this alter is actually smart, God honoring, and important.
“It shall be a witness between us and you and between our generations after us, that we are to perform the service of the LORD before Him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices and with our peace offerings, so that your sons will not say to our sons in the time to come, ‘you have no portion in the LORD’. Therefore we said, it shall also, come about if they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, then we shall say, ‘see the copy of the altar of the LORD which are fathers made, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; rather it is a witness between us and you.'” (22:27-28)
Another smart idea for creating reminders.
It is incredibly important to talk before we fight. I try to make a habit of believing most strife is caused by misunderstandings. Maybe it’s harder to recognize, because we don’t strap on swords and head to the river, but I think we tend to fight by slandering the person we’re misunderstanding. Maybe what we perceive to be an act of division, is really an attempt to keep us on the same team. Interpersonal conflict is the root of all kinds of hardship. We can spare ourselves a lot if we just ask, “what is the meaning of this?” Instead of assuming to know the meaning and getting riled up, rallying troops against an unknowing offender.
Is there someone you need to clear the air with today? Ask the LORD for help in humbling our hearts to anticipate misunderstanding, believing the best in one another.