Trust issues? I’d say! I’d be a little hot under the collar if I were from the clans of Reuben, Gad or the half-tribe of Manasseh. They’d just spent weeks or months or however long it took to help the Israelites get settled in Canaan. From past chapters, we know this wasn’t just a matter of unloading a U-Haul, having a beer and heading back home. The men from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh stuck it out until all boundaries were drawn, all cities were established, the Tabernacle was set up … and until Joshua gave them the go-ahead to return to their homeland, which we also know was set apart on the east side of the Jordan River from the rest of the Israelites. Their position made them vulnerable, and apparently, some Israelites doubted their commitment. Maybe it’s because the three tribes jumped all over the land in the first place. A conspiracy theory could have been born right then and there, and as they made their way back home, that theory started sprouting and growing all kinds of weird branches. Fortunately, the Israelites had a level-headed leader and priest who didn’t act on what the people thought they saw but instead went to the source of the act to get the reason behind it. Had they not done this, there very well could have been civil war just as the Israelites got established. Do you wonder how many wars have been started because of misinformation, pride and miscommunication? I certainly do. I know in my own experience I have jumped to the wrong conclusion about a gazillion times only to eat crow later when hearing the truth. It stinks, big time, and always, always, always calls for a moment of humility and an apology. You know what, though, as hard as that apology is sometimes, I know if I don’t make it, I won’t be able to sleep well at night. I imagine that’s kind of how Eleazar and the rest of the Israelites felt after they learned of how the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh felt in their hearts. They maybe were feeling as “regretful” (that’s not really the greatest word to define their choices, but it’s what I got right now) about choosing the lands across the Jordan as the Israelites were for letting them – or at least judging them for it.
Writing prompt: doubters
Have you ever been confronted by someone who doubted you? Maybe you were accused of something you didn’t do because of something that happened in the past. Write about the situation and whether or not you worked it out. If you haven’t worked it out yet, see if you can at least come to a resolution on paper, and pray about how to best put it into action.