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Joshua 22:21-23:16

An altar is a place of exchange. In the case of Israel, their alter was a place where they exchanged their personal and national sins for God’s righteousness through daily blood sacrifices. For the 2 ½ tribes, their memorial, their large memorial was to be a reminder to whom? What one says and what one’s true intentions are is two separate things. It can be said that one’s actions speak so loudly that what is being said is drowned out. So unless we know what is truly in their hearts, we cannot discern their true intentions. However, we do have a record of what happened to both those on the east of the Jordan and those on the west. Their fruit, like our fruit gives evidence of what was in the heart.

The tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh had requested land not intended as their Promise, to be there substitute Promise. So what was the real intent of this memorial/altar. Had they since realized after really seeing the Promise that God had for them, that they had made a mistake and were to proud to say so? The problem with “memorials” is this: unless one is interested in history, they either become a place for pigeons to sit on and/or they become part of the scenery and all meaning is lost except by the tourists and the lovers of history and architecture.

To truly keep your mind focused on something, one must have a heart felt love for what is before you. Altar or no altar, memorial or no memorial the issue at hand is what is going on in the heart of both the 2 ½ tribes, east of the Jordon, and the 9 ½ tribes on the west. That is the same predicament we have today. Whether we have statues/paintings/icons of those, we have decided by consensus, to be godly saints, or we have sparse places of worship with plan walls, the issue is and has always been what is going on in the heart.

We justify our actions by appearances; GOD examines our motives. Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors mean far more to GOD than religious performance. (Proverbs 21:2-3 MSG)

Joshua 24:1-33

Two verses in the twenty-fourth chapter have not only caught my attention but also fired my imagination,

3 But I took your ancestor Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him into the land of Canaan. I gave him many descendants through his son Isaac. 4 To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I gave the hill country of Seir, while Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

Esau was given the hill country while Jacob and his children went down into Egypt to become enslaved. Looking at this without seeing God’s perspective or having the advantage of hindsight the fact that Esau was given the hill country and Jacob/Israel would seem that God had favored Esau. The Word spoken to Rebekah regarding the twins she carried,
23 And the LORD said unto her, “Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger” (Gen 25:23).

Jacob was the younger and Esau the older and the Word of God never returns to Him void, it always accomplish that which was spoken by Him even when observed before the fullness of time. It took over 400 years before God’s Word to Rebekah came to past.

We do not fulfill God’s Word to us by us working the word; His Word is fulfilled as we live in obedience to his commands. Rebekah thought that she could fulfill God’s Word to Jacob by tricks and manipulation. Esau thought he could subvert the Word that had been spoken by God through his father by plotting to kill his brother. (Genesis 25-50)

Grace and peace,

Choose you this day who you will serve, the gods of your ancestors in Egypt, or the God that led you into the promised land. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

The above is my paraphrase, but we must choose. Who will you serve? As for me....I will serve the Lord.

Ditto, Tabitha.

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