Joshua 22 1 Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, 2 And said unto them, Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you: 3 Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the Commandment of the Lord your God. These two and one half tribes had requested to live on the east side of Jordan. Moses said, "Okay, but you have to help us fight for the west first."
They had obeyed Moses and Joshua, And in so doing had kept the charge of the Commandment of the Lord. All who believe and love the Lord, Will keep the charge of His Commandments. Not for a while; until the job is done. These men had been separated from their families for seven long years of warfare. They stayed till the job was done .
4 And now the Lord your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as He promised them: therefore now return ye , and get you unto your tents, and unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side Jordan. "It's time for Y'all to go home ." "You've finished the fight; done your duty ." "Now, go home and enjoy the land of your possession."
5 But take diligent heed to do the Commandment and the Law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all His Ways, and to keep His Command-ments, and to cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul . God doesn't want our half-hearted love nor our half-hearted effort .
Go home and enjoy it , But, take diligent heed to do the Commandment: Love the Lord, your God. Walk in all His Ways. Keep His Commandments. Cleave unto Him. Serve Him. The last four flow out of the first : Out of love comes the walk , the keeping , cleaving , and serving .
After great victory is a dangerous time: We might get careless or lazy. Take diligent heed to do ! We must be extra careful in times of success and well-being to do all that we know. We may let slip the very things that brought success and well-being.
6 So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away: and they went unto their tents. 7-9 They went home
10 And when they came unto the borders of Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by Jordan, a great altar to see to. 11-12 The rest of the Israelites who were still at Shiloh heard about and jumped to a conclusion: "They are already building altars to false gods." They prepared for war.
13-14 They sent Phinehas (Eleazar's boy) and leaders of ten of the tribes to check it out. 16b What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the Lord, in that ye have builded you an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the Lord? What are Y'all doing; are you crazy?
17-20 They reminded them of the times of previous straying and the consequences. Then they pleaded with them: Don't get rebellious; God will punish us all. If it's this land that's corrupting you, Come on back and live with us. Live in the Land of the Tabernacle. We have plenty of room.
21- 34 The 2 ½ tribes answered If we built this altar to offer false worship or to worship false gods, May God destroy us! We built it as a remembrance and a witness That we serve the True and Living God Same as Y'all do. 27b that your children may not say to our children in time to come, Ye have no part in the Lord.
29 God forbid that we should rebel against the Lord, and turn this day from following the Lord, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for meat offerings, or for sacrifices, beside the altar of the Lord our God that is before His tabernacle. The right God, in the right place, and in the proper manner. Not a competing altar
John 4 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. We must serve and worship the God of the Bible in the place where He has set us, and according to His Word .
When Phinehas and the heads of the tribes heard this, they were real happy. "We surely are glad Y'all didn't trespass against the Lord." They went home and told the people, and they were happy too. And they did not go to war.
The Easterners named the altar Ed 34b for it shall be a witness between us that the Lord is God. Closing thought: The Israelites jumped to a wrong conclusion, and almost had a civil war. A war in which many of God's people would have died.
Be very careful in drawing conclusions.. Especially conclusions about other people. We really don't know our own heart very well; we certainly don't know the hearts of others. 1 Timothy 5 22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
God would warn us to be careful in accepting new people into the ministry of the church. And He would warn us against misjudging our brothers and sisters. Take time to know the Truth. Pray to know the Mind of God.