By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"And the children of Reuban and the children of Gad called the altar Ed: for it shall be a witness between us that the Lord is God."
Joshua 22:34
Today's Read: Joshua 22-23; Matthew 5
The twelve tribes of Israel, respresenting the twelve sons fathered by Jacob, were alloted specific land allotments by God in the Promised Land.
Reuban, Gad, and Manasseh (1/2 its tribe) were granted a land request on the East side of the Jordon which distinctly separated them, as a result, from the other tribes.
Concern over the possibility of being separated from their brothers inspired and incited the three tribes to construct and erect a great altar by the Jordon with the attempt to "bridge the gap" between the tribes and induce a visual reminder that they were joint participants and brothers in the promises and provisions of God.
Unfortunately and initially, the "altar" was not received well by the other tribes. Its controversial construction, appeared to the nine remaining tribes, to be a direct act of rebellion against God suggesting a man-made attempt and determinant to deride God's specific "site" for the practice of worship and sacrifice which He had declared to be in Shiloh.
It was no small matter.
"And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh to go up to war against them."
Joshua 22:12
Gratefully, a "mediation party" consisting of 10 representatives within each of the other tribes met with the three tribes before the slaughter began and were greatly pacified and relieved to understand that the purpose of erecting the altar was to draw together and unify the tribes ... and not distance themselves from one another.
The purpose of the altar was not a suggestion to a new place of worship, sacrifice, and offering but a "marker" of solidarity and evidence that they would share in the designated worship of YAHWEH at the prescribed place He had created for them in Shiloh.
And the day when war was expected to break out; a peaceful treaty was created instead ... and the Altar and the rock was called "Ed" and God stood in their midst.
"And the thing pleased the children of Israel; and the children of Israel blessed God, and did not intend to go up against them in battle, to destroy the land where wherein the children of Reuban and Gad dwelt. And the children of Reuban and the children of Gad called the altar Ed: for it shall be a witness between us that the Lord is God."
Joshua 22:33-34
Hmmm ...
The overarching tendencies in man to prescribe wrong thoughts to right actions lingers in our judgement and decision making and can create a sad and strange mess of things.
We think we know the motives of others and prescribe meanings and mindsets where they perhaps don't exist at all ... or simply suggest something very different to another.
In any event and whatever the event, there is great wisdom in the restorative process called "mediation" and peacemakers who "sow in peace" shall "reap in righteousness." These are not merely words but provisional promises procurred by Christ in James 3:18 and Matthew 5:9-10 in the Sermon on the Mount.
Study God's word carefully and invoke it as part of a necessary and prelimary battle plan.
Mind and manage the "misunderstandings" in your life carefully and prayerfully and pray for the "Alter Ed" to bridge the divide between brothers of unified soul.
Three Applicable Suggestions of Study:
1) After you have completed today's reading; jot down a key verse of impact. Repeat it seven times aloud until it's "in" you.
2) Select a stone and record the word "Ed" on it, reminding yourself of what God has the power to do, when you are committed to peacemaking and glorifying His name.
3) Pray for a radical transformation and spiritual impartation of wisdom to be granted you as you uncover and discover new realities God has prepared for you.
"Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9