It is a witness between us that the LORD is God." -- Joshua 22:34
Great reflection by Dennis Fisher for tomorrow's reading in Our Daily Bread:
"Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is the story of an upper-middle-class Englishwoman named Lizzy Bennet who is pursued by Mr. Darcy, a brooding and complex man of great wealth. Lizzy's first impression of Mr. Darcy was that he was arrogant, introverted, and self-serving. So when he declares his love for her, she rejects him. Later, when she learns of his many secret acts of kindness for others, Lizzy admits that she had been wrong about Mr. Darcy and agrees to marry him.
"Joshua 22 records another instance of flawed first impressions. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh had built an altar near the Jordan. When the other tribes learned about this, they were enraged (vv.9-12) because God had commanded that He alone be worshiped and that sacrifices be performed only in the tabernacle (Ex. 20:3; Lev. 17:8-9). They saw the building of this altar as an act of apostasy. Fortunately, Phinehas the priest led a delegation to find out why they had built the altar (Josh. 22:13-33). They were told that it was a memorial of unity for all the tribes under the one God of Israel (v.34).
"Often our first impressions can be wrong. Open communication, however, can correct misunderstandings that are created by our own pride and prejudice."