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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Rest Together

This Israelites had moved into the land that the LORD had promised them.  They won battles in the power of the LORD.  Now, they were given a time of rest.  As the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh were getting ready to go home on the other side of the Jordan river, they were reminded to stay close to the LORD…and they did.

And when they came to the region of the Jordan that is in the land of Canaan, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of imposing size. (Joshua 22:10 ESV)

Building an altar, however, was a dangerous thing.  The Israelites already had an altar that was used for the worship of the LORD.  That altar was with the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, and all the other furnishings that the LORD gave them very specific instructions to build.  Building another altar could be seen by the LORD as an act of false-worship.  That’s what the other tribes thought.

And the people of Israel heard it said, "Behold, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built the altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that belongs to the people of Israel." And when the people of Israel heard of it, the whole assembly of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh to make war against them. (Joshua 22:11-12 ESV)

They were literally ready to kill one another.  Even the hint of sin among them was enough to steal their rest.

How about you?  Do you have people in your life that “steal your rest” because you see them in rebellion against God?  Do you have people around whom it is easy to rest, because they have a consistent walk with God?  Are you able to rest together?