DATE POSTED Sunday, 2021-09-05
WRITTEN AT: Sebring, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 22:16-18
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)
BIBLE TEXT: 16 All of the Lord’s people have gathered together and have sent us to find out why you are unfaithful to our God. You have turned your backs on the Lord by building that altar. Why are you rebelling against him? 17 Wasn’t our people’s sin at Peor terrible enough for you? The Lord punished us by sending a horrible sickness that killed many of us, and we still suffer because of that sin. 18 Now you are turning your backs on the Lord again. If you don’t stop rebelling against the Lord right now, he will be angry at the whole nation.
APPLICATION: When disaster strikes, the impact of that terrible time will often stick with us much longer than we care to even think about. In Peor, the Israelites saw many of their leaders killed, and also many of their own people – over 24,000 of them. Because of their unfaithfulness to God, that resulted in them creating idols and worshipping them, there was a time of desperation and mourning because of the loss of life and hurt throughout their camp, even though they were not necessarily a part of the evil they were doing. But just as we try to shy away from things that caused previous hurts, the hearts of the Israelites were immediately affected when they heard of some of their fellow tribes building another altar. They had already decided that they would go to war over this infraction, but before they did, they wanted to try and work out the problem in love first. So they sent a contingent of leaders to speak with the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh. There are a few lessons for us in this story: 1). The sin that we commit will often have a detrimental effect on others. Stay true to God and to each other by considering everyone before you go out and commit crimes that will affect them; 2). Nip the problem in the bud immediately. Don’t let it fester and allow you to build animosity against your neighbor. Remember, it is always good to consider the heart of an innocent Brother in a situation before forging forward with your own selfish desires. Loved ones can and will be impacted by your selfish and angry motives; 3). Always try to resolve matters diplomatically and in love before you start a war that you will soon regret.
Notice that the contingent not only satisfied their own minds about what they thought was a huge issue, but they were able to return to their own tribes and speak favorably about their neighboring tribes. It is always better to be the encourager and peacemaker, rather than the agitator who arouses the anger of those opposed to a situation to which they don’t have all the facts. I learned as a child that you will either through gas on a fire already inflamed, or you could through water to extinguish the fire. For as much as lies within you, be a peacemaker rather than one who creates a war that will impact many other innocent members of your group, family and/or friends.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: The Israelites were ready for war against their neighboring tribesmen, but they did all within their power to avoid war and death. Often our actions could create war, but by the grace of God, may we all strive for peace and goodwill in order to protect the innocent.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I believe that we were created to live in peace and with hearts filled with love, like our Maker. Please intervene when the evil one interferes and raises up anger in our hearts. Help us to always stand for what is right without ever building animosity for the one destined to do life by following their own inclination. May the lesson learned from the Israelites who tried to stop, what appeared to be evil in the making, be an ongoing example for Your children today. May the world see that Jesus is alive and well, because they see You at work in the lives of Your children. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!