Today We Know
25 March 2019
Today We Know
Reading: Joshua 21-22; Psalm 47; 1 Corinthians 10
Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, replied to them, “Today we know the Lord is among us because you have not committed this treachery against the Lord as we thought. Instead, you have rescued Israel from being destroyed by the hand of the Lord.” (Joshua 22:31 NLT)
The warriors of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had served their brother tribes faithfully and stayed with them as part of Israel’s army until the land west of the Jordan was conquered. When Joshua released them and they left for their homes across the Jordan, they built a memorial altar of stone at the river crossing as a reminder that they too were part of God’s nation. When word got out about the altar, the rest of Israel wrongly assumed that they were becoming idol worshipers and sent an army to destroy them.
Thank God for clear-headed, good-hearted Phinehas (see Numbers 25:10-11), the high priest who went along and took the trouble to ask some questions before the arrows and spears started flying! The simple truth came out, civil war was averted, and the nation held together.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:11,“These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.”
It’s so easy when you hear a rumor about someone, or see an accusatory post on social media, to assume it’s true without checking the facts. It’s so easy (and so dangerous) to make an assumption about someone’s motives or intentions based on incomplete and out-of-context observation. I need to learn not to jump to conclusions. Like Phinehas, it’s up to me to take the lead in not assuming the worst about others, in checking the facts before speaking or acting, and in working for peace and mutual understanding.
Father, Please help me to listen carefully and make sure I have heard the whole story on each issue before I form an opinion or make a judgment. Help me to learn not to assume the worst but to expect the best of others. I want to be a responder to truth and not a reactor to rumor or accusation. I want to be a peacemaker. Amen.