Serve the Lord: In Unity
Numbers 32:1-42; Joshua 22:1-34; 1:12-18; 4:12-13
As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15b
Context: When Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh requested of Moses land outside the Promised Land it threatened the unity of the nation. Numbers 32 explains the arrangement that the 2.5 tribes had with Moses and the nation before they crossed the Jordan River. These tribes made a commitment to fight alongside the other tribes in the Promised Land and to follow the leadership of Moses and Joshua.
Moses promised them they could have the land they requested on the East Bank of the Jordan if they would fight alongside their brothers. They faithfully did this for seven years until God gave them rest.
Joshua commended them for keeping their word to Moses and the nation. He then challenged them to continue to wholeheartedly obey the Lord. On their return to the other side of the Jordan they constructed an altar separate from Shiloh. This appeared to Joshua as a defection from the will of God. He sent Phinehas the priest with other leaders to confront them. The 2.5 tribes humbly accepted rebuke and assured the leaders that their motives and actions were to promote spiritual unity with the 9.5 tribes in the Promised Land. Joshua and the people rejoiced over the decision of the 2.5 tribes to stay connected spiritually with the entire nation in the Promised Land.
Making it Personal:
- You are able to preserve unity in the body of Christ when you choose to partner with those following the plan of God.
- You are able to preserve unity in the body of Christ when you wholeheartedly follow the teaching of scripture.
- You are able to preserve unity in the body of Christ when you humbly accept correction from those in authority over you.
- When you preserve unity in the body of Christ it motivates the faithful to give praise to God.
Main Idea: When you choose to preserve unity in the body of Christ you testify to the world that you are a faithful follower of Christ.
Jesus Prayed: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21
Application: How is God using you to preserve unity in your church, in your home and among friends and relatives?