I came across an interesting story in the 22nd Chapter of the Book of Joshua that addresses the dangers of making hasty decisions or preparations. Here is the scenario: After taking possession of the promised land God had given them, (Canaan) The tribes Of Reuben and Gad and a half-tribe of Manasseh went back to their assigned lands on their side (East) of the Jordan River. The other nine and a half tribes of Israel remained on the opposite side.
As soon as they crossed the river, these two and a half tribes decided to build a giant altar to the Lord there. Because this new altar was right by the river, those on the West side zealously reported it to their leaders, some of them presuming rebellion or even idolatry from the tribes that had just separated from them. The whole community gathered where the Lord’s designated altar was at the time (Shilo) and prepared to go to war against their own brethren. Apparently, cooler heads prevailed and a delegation led by Phinehas, the high priest, crossed the Jordan to go investigate the matter. Once these delegations met and the new altar makers presented their case, it was obvious to all that they were not going to use the altar to sacrifice but only as a memorial to remind them they were God’s people and, as such, had a right to cross the Jordan to avail themselves of the Lord’s true altar when necessary.
In the end, it was apparent that one side had made hasty preparations, never consulting the Lord in advance for permission to build an altar nor informing the others of their plan, and many on the other side were guilty of jumping to conclusions. Had they not investigated the matter before taking action, they would have committed a horrible crime.
Though none of us have trouble with these issues, this story serves as a good reminder nonetheless to consult the Lord before making any important decision, as well as with others when necessary. That’s one reason the Bible tells us: Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Concerning jumping to conclusions, the Bible says: It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. It is always wise to pray first, then wait, meditate, and investigate.
Memory verse for the week: (Colossians 3:15) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.