“Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build ourselves an altar, not for burnt offering nor for sacrifice, but that it may be a witness between you and us and our generations after us, that we may perform the service of the LORD before Him with our burnt offerings, with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your descendants may not say to our descendants in time to come,”You have no part in the LORD.” (Joshua 22:26-27)
In this chapter, the Reubenites, Gad and half tribe of Mannasseh returned to the east side of the Jordan, where their families were- the land of their possession, promised by Moses. On the way back, they built an altar beside the one already built on the bank of the west side of the Jordan. At this, all the children of Israel came against them for war to destroy them. It was seen that the eastern tribes were making an altar to sacrifice, and in fact, the law stated that the only place they could sacrifice to the Lord was at the entrance of the tabernacle. So their immediate reaction was war. However, when Phinehas confronted them, he discovered that they built it only as a witness between them and the western tribes across the Jordan- that they will always have a part in the Lord’s work. A good ending- so they were pleased to discover this and went home satisfied.
There was a great misunderstanding between the eastern and western tribes. however, all the eastern tribes wanted was to say to everyone was, “we want to stay part of the Lord’s service!” They knew the river divided them, and it may have been easy for them to backslide and not join in with their brothers across the Jordan in the things of God. And it may have been easy for the western tribes to accuse them of not taking part and cut them off- but they wanted to remain a part of the things of God. What about you? How much do you want God in your life, rather than the things of the world? Don’t let yourself be cut off from the things of God- from fellowship, prayer, bible study. If anything causes you to sin and miss these things in your life, cut it off and get back into the things of God! Put Him first- honour Him and He will honour you.
“Lord, I pray no matter what comes along in my life, that I wouldn’t let anything distract me from taking part in the things of God- that I would put You first in all I say and do- in Jesus’ name, amen.”
*Ps 133; Mk 9:42-48; Acts 4:32-37