1095 Devotional “Trips”!
Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.
Reading assignment: __Joshua 22:21-34
Focal verse(s): Joshua 22:34 (NIV): “And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us–that the Lord is God”
The eastern tribes who had erected the altar on the west side of the Jordan solemnly repudiated the charges from their western counterparts that they were in rebellion against God. They swore by the three Hebrew names for God (El, Elohim, and Yahweh) that they were innocent of rebellion. They stated that the altar was not erected for sacrifices, but as a witness to all generations and that the Transjordanian tribes had a right to cross the Jordan and worship at Shiloh. This explanation was fully accepted by the western tribal delegation, so a total reconciliation took place. The lesson for Christians today from this story is that we too should be zealous in guarding the purity of the faith, but not judge people’s motives on the basis of circumstantial evidence. It is important to get all the facts, remembering there are always two sides to every dispute. An open dialogue between the two conflicting sides will then make it possible to avoid a confrontation and work towards reconciliation. Remember, our God is the God of reconciliation! Second Corinthians 5:20 (RSV) says, “So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ be reconciled to God.” Reconciliation is the way of the Christian, and that path should be our aim in everything we do. Someone once said, “Christians are the only army I know who shoot their wounded.” May God help us to always work toward Christian harmony!