Keeping the Peace

Steven VanderMolen

READ : Joshua 22:1-5, 9-12, 30-34

I remember reading an account of V-E Day, May 8, 1945, when President Truman announced over the radio: “General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered. The flags of freedom fly all over Europe.” Three months later, on August 14, V-J Day occurred; as a result, the downtown area of most cities in the United States were jammed with people celebrating. The war was over!

I would imagine that the soldiers from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh must have been especially euphoric when the conquest of Canaan ended. For over seven years they had been away from their families. Now they could go home. They were told to serve God in peace as well as in war. But now that the Canaanites were gone, the Israelites began to fight among themselves.

Often a confrontation like this ends with division and hurt, but in this case it ended well. There was honest confrontation and both sides desired to serve the Lord with humble obedience. Both sides were courageous in standing up for truth and in acting in love. Instead of going to war, they talked it out.

As Christians, we have a chance to show that a combined zeal for truth and love provides the basis for harmony, and, in the final analysis, is the only alternative that is really blessed by God.

PRAYER

May we always stand for the truth, O God, and do it with love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.