READ: Joshua 20-22
THINK: Have you ever jumped to a conclusion-and landed in quicksand? While it's easy to assume we see things accurately, our perspective is extremely limited and seldom do we know the whole story from the start. Regrettably, people are quick to judge and frequent to misunderstand. This can ruin relationships and turn something that's no problem into a big problem. But you can stand for what's right while still giving others the benefit of the doubt. By doing so, you'll be offended much less and understand much more. Rather than misjudging others' motives, give the truth a chance to come out. You might be pleasantly surprised by what's really going on and why.
RESPOND: What promises had God fulfilled by the time Israel had settled the land (21:43-45)? (See 21:45 note.) In what way does the book of Joshua present the conquest of Canaan as both complete and incomplete, and what responsibility did the Israelites have in laying hold of God's promises? (See 21:45 note, subpoint 1.) How is this similar to the way New Testament Christians must respond to God's promises? (See 21:45 note, subpoint 2.) How did Joshua sum up God's laws and commands in 22:5? What do you think it means "to walk in all his [God's] ways" and "to serve him with all your heart and all your soul" (22:50)? Why were most Israelite tribes angered by the Reubenites and Gadites? (See 22:12 note.) What were the other tribes prepared to do and why? (See 22:12 note, subpoint 1.) How is Israel's handling of this situation an example of how to resolve conflict in the church? (See 22:12 note, subpoints 2-4.) What balance must Christians maintain in addressing potential problems or offenses in the church? (See 22:12 note, subpoint 4.) What was the real reason the Reubenites and Gadites built what appeared to be an altar? (See 22:34 note.) Why is it easy for people to misinterpret others' actions and jump to conclusions? What does this indicate about how individuals and churches should approach situations that seem problematic?
PRAY: Give God thanks for always keeping His promises, and pray for His help in obeying Him and laying hold of those promises. Ask God to help you stand for truth in a gracious way. Express love for God in your own words.
ACT: Is there a possibility that you've misjudged someone, made an assumption or jumped to a conclusion about a particular situation? Perhaps it's none of your business, but even if it is, back up and get the facts. Don't compromise the truth, yet approach the situation with humility and grace. If you need to make an apology, show integrity and do so.
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