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Open Lines of Communication

Daily Reading: Joshua 22

Scripture Focus: And the people of Israel heard it said... (Joshua 22.11)

Devotional Thought: Have you ever been misunderstood? Not fun. Even worse, is to be misrepresented. Even worse than that, is to do something stupid and then have that misrepresented! That’s where the "Eastern Tribes" (Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh) found themselves. As they returned home, they built a monument at the Jordan to ensure that they were not alienated from the faith and family of their fathers. The monument, however, was misunderstood. The eastern tribes were accused of deserting the faith and of putting the 'family' at risk. What they were really guilty of was being poor communicators. When they explained their motives, their western brothers understood and even accepted their action.

This story, I believe, can serve as a warning to the risk of poor communication in the church.

  • The eastern tribes should have communicated with their western brothers before they started the huge imposing memorial. Even better, they should have consulted with them. I have brought many problems and complaints on myself, simply by not communicating.

  • The western tribes almost seemed to be eager to find fault with their eastern brothers. I'm not sure how and why, but an environment of suspicion and fear had been fostered. Whisperings, innuendos, and jealousy should not be allowed to gain traction among God's people. It leads to civil war!

  • There was also another party which played a part. The source of the information - those who brought the story back to their western brothers - should have dug a little deeper before spreading the dirt! Anonymous and unverified sources are never a good idea!

Let's all do our part to keep the lines of communication open in the church!

Prayer: Father, help us as your family not to deal in innuendo and in unverified accusations. Rather, enable us to communicate clearly and openly with one another, to preserve the peace and unity of the church. For Jesus' sake we pray. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 42.8-11

8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

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