What? You Built An Altar?
 
The children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar, Witness, “For it is a witness between us that the LORD is God.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭22:34‬ ‭
 
There was almost a war among the brethren of Israel.
 
The Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned to their land 'with much riches' (see Joshua 22:8) to the land allotted to them. 
 
And when they came to the region of the Jordan which is in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan—a great, impressive altar.
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭22:10‬ ‭
 
When the children of Israel heard they had built an altar, they immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was built out of rebellion.
 
Thus says the whole congregation of the LORD: ‘What treachery is this that you have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the LORD, in that you have built for yourselves an altar, that you might rebel this day against the LORD?”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭22:16‬ ‭
 
The LORD's dealing with their rebellion at Peor - where Israelites played harlot with Moabite women and 24000 fell dead (see Numbers 25) - and the sin of Achan - the source of battle defeat against Ai (see Joshua 7) - had sunk into their hearts. 
 
But in fact the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh have done it for fear, for a reason, saying, ‘In time to come your descendants may speak to our descendants, saying, “What have you to do with the LORD God of Israel?”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭22:24‬ ‭
 
Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and the children of Manasseh, “This day we perceive that the LORD is among us, because you have not committed this treachery against the LORD. Now you have delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the LORD.”
 
So the thing pleased the children of Israel, and the children of Israel blessed God; they spoke no more of going against them in battle, to destroy the land where the children of Reuben and Gad dwelt. The children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar, Witness, “For it is a witness between us that the LORD is God.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭22:31, 33-34‬ ‭
 
It's why we do what we do that counts.  God looks at the heart. Forgive me, LORD, for the many times I'm inclined to jump to conclusions too, without first clarifying. Teach us to see what You see.
 
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance but the LORD looks in the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Published by Sunsets Purple