Jumping to Conclusions

Assumptions are annoying. We have all been the creator and recipient of assumptions. A couple of weeks ago I did something where the person concluded I had negative intentions for what I did. I was frustrated the person would jump to that conclusion.

There is an example of jumping to conclusions near the end of the book of Joshua. A few tribes were to settle east of the Jordan after the entire land was taken west of the Jordan. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, before heading back to their land, built an altar on the east side of the Jordan (Josh. 22:10).

When the Israelites heard about this altar, it was assumed as apostasy. It is simply amazing how quick to judge the western tribes were. Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh were just getting home and a war was already being planned against them.

In defense of the western tribes, there was personal reasons for their being so trigger happy. The episodes with Balaam and Achan were fresh in their minds (22:17,20). They knew God’s shalom was communal and if some of the tribes turned away from the LORD then they were all going to get a spanking. So there was righteous fidelity at the core of their action.

But the western tribe’s assumptions are pretty negative. They defaulted to the idea that there was a breach of faith (22:16). Didn’t the LORD just fulfill His promise that was 1000 years in the making? Why assume they were forsaking God? Could there be another reason?

There was another reason (22:24). And there is a reason why that person or group you are dealing with is doing what they are doing. It might not always be a good reason. And sometimes people are doing things for the wrong reason. But, let’s not jump to conclusions.

God help us keep our swords in their sheaths until we’ve at least heard an explanation.

Title Signature Screenshot Cartoon 2015

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