A Bit of Chaos

Have you ever been in an awkward moment when you almost got someone in trouble or got onto said individual for something they didn’t do wrong? Ha! You have no idea…

In what can only be described as one of the closest calls and biggest misunderstandings of all time, the nation of Israel was ready to burst out into civil war. “Why” you ask? Well, it started with a little altar. A harmless little altar, really. But this little alter was way in over its head. Let’s check out the setting of the scene in Joshua 22…

“10 And when they came to the region of the Jordan that is in the land of Canaan, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of imposing size. 11 And the people of Israel heard it said, “Behold, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built the altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that belongs to the people of Israel.” 12 And when the people of Israel heard of it, the whole assembly of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh to make war against them.”

Quite a chaotic scene, right? Really messed up! Yet, this scene of chaos might actually not be as terrible as you might think. You are probably asking yourself, “How could chaos ever be a good thing?” That mindset is almost that of Heath Ledger’s Joker. But wait a minute. While this definitely shows a serious lack of communication, or a lack of graceful reasoning, it also shows something else that we can glean from this act of chaos. You see, in Joshua 7 we see that the Nation of Israel received its first defeat in battle during the conquest of Canaan because one individual was willing to sacrifice the safety of everyone else by disobeying the Words of God. What this scene shows is this; we as children of God need to keep each other accountable. Yes, we must follow the example given to us in Matthew 18 and be more understanding, but we should have the same heart as the nation of Israel. They knew that their brethren were at jeopardy if they did not take care of this act of sin, and they knew God would not look favorably at them if they turned a blind eye. That is exactly what happened to them in Joshua 7, and they were unwilling to let it play out before their eyes again. Like I said, their example is over the top, but we should all try to keep each other in line as the overzealous Israelites did!

As you probably guessed, all turned out smoothly. The smaller tribes just wanted to make an altar to show their allegiance to God, and the following nations did not in return attack. But it is up to us to care for one another, love one another, and even reprimand one another if needed. We are all in this together, and it is up to us to encourage, teach, and push each other to God’s will. So in the end, we can learn and glean something from this scene of chaos and misunderstandings. Though, we might try to do it a little more delicately this time.



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