Joshua 22 - Loyalty, Worship

Joshua 22:1-9 - The people ho had their allotment before Joshua took over on the east side of the Jordan are essentially told by Joshua "Well done, good and faithful servants." They stood by their brothers, even though they already had what was promised them.

Think of the parallels for us. God has already won the victory, we have already passed from death to life in baptism (Romans 6), but we are not yet permitted to enjoy the blessings that are already given us. Oh, make no mistake, they are already irrevocably ours, though we don not yet enjoy them fully. Instead, God has charged us to go out and win the same for our bothers and sisters, to do the work of the kingdom, living as his ambassadors. Our gifts are already secured, yet we remain in order to sing the praises and proclaim the favor of the one who gave us such blessings.

Viewed like this brings a new light to the obligations of a life of discipleship.

Joshua 22:25 - The remainder of the chapter is about a misunderstanding between the tribes in the east and the rest of Israel over an altar built by the eastern tribes on their way home. What was interesting to me was this from verse 25: "So your children might make our children cease to worship the Lord" We tend to view worship as a personal decision, one that is Independence of others. They, however, clearly tied worship with the community, to the point that they were concerned that the western people would prevent the eastern tribes from worshiping. Perhaps it's tied more to formal worship and ritual and sacrifice at the tabernacle, which would reside on the western side of the Jordan.

Still, for our way of thinking, that wouldn't enter our minds, worship is personal and done at any time, whether 'at church' or not. To them, it seems, worship was more closely tied to place.

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