7 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Joshua 22
Acts 2
Jeremiah 11
Matthew 25

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Joshua 22:11-12 (CSB): “Then the Israelites heard it said, ‘Look, the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh have built an altar on the frontier of the land of Canaan at the region of the Jordan, on the Israelite side.’ When the Israelites heard this, the entire Israelite community assembled at Shiloh to go to war against them.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Have you ever jumped to a conclusion? I mean, have you ever thought you completely understood a situation, made an assessment that caused you to get hot around the collar … and then found out that your assessment was wrong?

We all have!

Everyone of us has been guilty of jumping to conclusions. Instead of gathering as much information as possible, we recklessly gather only a few of the facts and then assume that we have enough information to make a definitive decision. Then, we justify our anger and condemnation. Oftentimes, we are wrong and must humbly apologize.

In today’s Bible reading, we came across a story where jumping to conclusions is beautifully illustrated. It is found in Joshua 22. Here’s what happened:

After the Promised Land had been conquered, Joshua released the Israelite tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He told them that they had been faithful in carrying out their end of the bargain by helping the other tribes conquer the land. They were free to go back to their home on the east side of the Jordan River.

On their way back, though, they “built a large, impressive altar” (Joshua 22:10). Why did they do this? Listen to their explanation. We have no reason to doubt the veracity of their words…

Joshua 22:26-27 (CSB) “Therefore we said: Let’s take action and build an altar for ourselves, but not for burnt offering or sacrifice. Instead, it is to be a witness between us and you, and between the generations after us, so that we may carry out the worship of the LORD in his presence with our burnt offerings, sacrifices, and fellowship offerings. Then in the future, your descendants will not be able to say to our descendants, ‘You have no share in the LORD!’”

So, their motives were pure and there was nothing essentially wrong with what they did. But, before their intentions were explained, someone jumped to a conclusion! They were almost killed for their actions!

Joshua 22:11-12 (CSB): “Then the Israelites heard it said, ‘Look, the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh have built an altar on the frontier of the land of Canaan at the region of the Jordan, on the Israelite side.’ When the Israelites heard this, the entire Israelite community assembled at Shiloh to go to war against them.”

Why was the rest of Israel willing to go to war against the 2 1/2 tribes who had built their altar? We see later in the chapter that they misjudged the motives of those who had built it. They assumed that it was an alternate place of worship. That being the case, there was fear that God would bring judgment upon them all for this act (Joshua 22:15-20).

But, fortunately(!), reason prevailed and they talked before taking action (Joshua 22:15-31). As a result, they went away peaceably. No one got hurt and the bond of their relationship remained strong.

So, what about you? Do you find it easy to jump to conclusions? When you make an assumption regarding someone’s intentions or actions that you believe to be wrong or sinful, do you go to them and talk it out or do you hold onto your critical attitude … and maybe engage in gossip?

As we saw in this story, there’s a good chance that you could be completely wrong in your assessment.

Don’t jump to a conclusion! Patiently gather facts. Love others enough to talk things out. Satan would love to divide God’s people. Don’t let him do it.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I sometimes jump to conclusions. I don’t like doing the awkward thing of going to the person to talk things out and I tend to think too highly of my opinion and often assume that I’m write. As a result, I jump to conclusions and those matters rarely get resolved correctly. Help me to see the example of the Israelites in Joshua 22 and see that I must step out of my comfort zone and engage in conversation with people before I do something reckless. Amen.