Altars East of The Jordan

April 13, 2013 by  
Filed under A Monday AM BLOG

In the Book of Joshua we read of an altar being erected by the Tribes of Reuben, God and the half-tribe of Manasseh. This action brought much to the consternation of the other Tribes of Israel. They prepared to go to war over this incident.

War was not necessary. The motivation for building the altar was not to provide an alternative place to offer sacrifices. It was rather a sincere effort to preserve the identification of these 2 ½ Tribes with the majority of the nation. The concern was that future generations would be excluded and shunned. The text says on this action:

No, but we did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, ‘What have you to do with the LORD, the God of Israel? For the LORD has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you, you people of Reuben and people of Gad. You have no portion in the LORD.’ So your children might make our children cease to worship the LORD. Therefore we said, ‘Let us now build an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness between us and you, and between our generations after us, that we do perform the service of the LORD in his presence with our burnt offerings and sacrifices and peace offerings, so your children will not say to our children in time to come, “You have no portion in the LORD.”‘ And we thought, If this should be said to us or to our descendants in time to come, we should say, ‘Behold, the copy of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness between us and you.’ Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD and turn away this day from following the LORD by building an altar for burnt offering, grain offering, or sacrifice, other than the altar of the LORD our God that stands before his tabernacle!” (Joshua 22:24-29)

Perhaps the evangelical church in America needs to re-visit this principle. The younger generations are abandoning the faith in significant numbers.

The church needs Leaders with the conviction and integrity to embrace history and restore the remembrance of the ‘faith of our fathers’!

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