Always assume best intentions

Joshua 22 is an important chapter. It shows how easily misunderstandings and divisions can arise between God's people. Especially where communication has broken down.

It is easy to read too much into the actions (or inactions) of our brothers, and to pay more attention to an inferred attitude behind the action than the action itself.

The tragedy of this story is that covenant brothers, comrades in arms, those who once extended the kingdom and fought the Lord's battles side by side now find themselves on opposite sides of the battle lines! The true enemies who remain in the land are given a rest while God's people square off against each other. The accuser of the brethren can take a day off because God's people are doing his job for him!

A greater tragedy still that such things still occur amongst God's new covenant people. As the apostle James says - such things should not be!

Before we ready our swords for battle, before we let the arrows fly we should take the time to ready our ears to listen and our hearts to understand. Invest the time to reopen the lines of communication and learn what the true issues and motivations are.

Most of all let us not forget that our battle is not against flesh and blood. And it is certainly not against our brothers in the Lord. When brothers fight it never pleases or honours the one who is Father of both.


Table of Jubilee

The Lord's table is the New Covenant Jubilee. A regular event when every debt is cancelled. Not just the forgiveness of our debts towards God but a relinquishing of every debt between the covenanted people of God. The same blood that washes away our sin is received like a dialysis that is to flush out all the bad blood that may have accumulated in the corporate body. Jesus taught that it is impossible to receive forgiveness until you let go of unforgiveness. The table is thus an end of bondage and a new beginning of freedom towards God and each other just as Jubilee was.

There is a reason we should talk to a brother who has wronged us before we come to the table. It's not just so we can come in a right manner. It's because afterwards we have no right to mention it again. The same grace that forgives us requires us to forgive them.