Episode ThemeJustice-Seeking: Quick to listen and slow to speak.
They were glad to hear the report and praised God. And they talked no more about going to war.
Have you ever jumped to the wrong conclusion about someone? You’re not the first—this even happened in the Bible.
Here’s the scoop: the Israelites’ job was to conquer the land of Canaan, which God had promised to give them. Once they had the land under control, each tribe of Israel would get part of the land to live on. Two tribes (and half of a third tribe) really liked the land on the other side of the Jordan River so they asked to live over there. After all the land had been won, they would receive the land they requested.
The big day arrived! The Israelite leader, Joshua, handed out all the land to the 12 tribes. He thanked the 2 ½ tribes for their help and sent them on their way to the other side of the river. Once the men got to the river, they stopped. They started thinking about the future. What if all the Israelites some day forgot that there were Israelites living on the other side of the river also? What if someday they fought each other? What could they do to prevent this?
The 2 ½ tribes decided to build a big altar as a reminder that there were Israelites living on the other side of the Jordan River too. It was a great idea, except for one little thing: they forgot to tell the other Israelites exactly why they were building this huge altar by the river.
When the other Israelites heard about the altar, they jumped to the conclusion that the 2 ½ tribes had decided to worship another god. They decided to go fight the 2 ½ tribes. But first, they sent some men to question the 2 ½ tribes about the altar. Once they met, the reason for the altar came out (read Joshua 22 to find out the real reason). Instead of fighting, they celebrated!
It’s a good lesson—don’t jump to conclusions without talking to the other person first. Having some of the facts distorts the truth. Next time you think you know what’s going on, stop and ask. It’s the best way—just ask the Israelites!