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“When the Israelites heard of it, the whole congregation of the sons of Israel gathered at Shiloh to make war on them.” Joshua 22: 12 The Voice
This chapter in Joshua intrigues me. The Israelites had seen first-hand what it looked like to be punished for not fearing God and placing Him before all else. They had watched Achan’s family die for sinning against God and 24,000 die for worshipping another god. They had just finished dividing up the conquered land and everyone was going back to enjoy and thrive in their respective properties.
Then a rumor started. Someone saw something and made an assumption. Everyone got up in arms and was ready to move into a state of war against each other. They had been warring against external tribes for years. Now it was time to turn their focus inward toward each other.
Sometimes we get so used to functioning in a state of war that we forget how to get along with each other. We jump to conclusions. Our mouths kick into high gear spewing out what we imagine is going on instead of checking in with the other person. Our minds start to spin and we don’t take the time to make the heart connection. Communication is broken, feelings are hurt and more minds start to imagine and more mouths start to spew more garbage into the atmosphere.
I am learning not to participate. I am learning to go to the source and seek understanding. It feels good when I am not contributing to the dangerous practice of slamming others and giving Satan ammunition to fire darts into people’s hearts. So, I stop. Disengage. Retreat in prayer. Leave it up to God. Love those I come in contact with and try to communicate clearly WITHOUT ENGAGING in the trash talk. Accept that I don’t know what I don’t know. It feels good.
Father, thank you for ordering our steps. I pray that all confusion and miscommunication between brothers and sisters in Christ will dissolve. I pray that Your divine peace will supersede all other emotions that have a tendency to bubble up in these type of situations. Please show us what You would have us do. I pray we will be quick to be obedient.