SCRIPTURE: Joshua 22:10-34
1. “Built an imposing altar there by the Jordan… whole assembly of Israel gathered at Shiloh to go to war against them” – The Law of Moses warned against building an alternate place of worship (Leviticus 17:8-9), and therefore this was seen as a breaking of the faith (covenant) with God.
2. “Was not the sin of Peor enough for us?” – See Numbers 25:1-9.
3. “If you rebel against the LORD today, tomorrow he will be angry with the whole community of Israel” – The sin of the one has consequences on the many. This is not cruelty on God’s part, it is the natural result. One person doing drugs has huge implications for family, friends, even strangers.
4. “No! We did it for fear that some day your descendants might say to ours, ‘What do you have to do with the LORD, the God of Israel?” – These tribes were afraid that they would lose their place in the nation because they lived on the other side of the Jordan.
5. “Now you have rescued the Israelites from the LORD’s hand” – The leaders lived with a deep sense of awe and respect for the Lord, knowing that He is gracious to those who honour Him but just toward those who defy Him.
6. This is a case of misunderstanding, and a reminder for all of us not to jump to conclusions about what others are doing. In Deuteronomy 13:12-15, Moses says that when an issue like this arises, they should “inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly”. We need to honour God, but we also need to honour our neighbour and not jump to conclusions.
Lord, as I seek to honour You, help me not to dishonour others. Help me to love You and my neighbour, and do everything I can to be discerning and not judgmental. Amen.