An interesting story in Joshua 22. You ought to read it.
God had just delivered on His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The nation of Israel now had a land of their own where they could settle.
Joshua now gathers the leaders together and boldly commands them to follow every command Moses gave so they don’t lose the land.
Joshua then releases them to inhabit the land and lead their people into it and settle.
Three of the tribes, however, do something that made the other tribes nervous.
When they came to Geliloth near the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an imposing altar there by the Jordan.”Joshua 22:8-10 NIV
No big deal… we’ll it was… or it could have been.
The other tribes saw this and were angry. They don’t need another altar for sacrifice. That’s not what Moses commanded. They don’t need to build an altar to another God, that means they just turned their back on the only God.
Why did they do this? Well, someone had the wisdom to ask their leaders their reason for the altar before they all turned and gave them the older sibling beating they thought they may deserve.
“No! We did it for fear that some day your descendants might say to ours, ‘What do you have to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? The Lord has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you—you Reubenites and Gadites! You have no share in the Lord.’ So your descendants might cause ours to stop fearing the Lord. “That is why we said, ‘Let us get ready and build an altar—but not for burnt offerings or sacrifices.’ On the contrary, it is to be a witness between us and you and the generations that follow, that we will worship the Lord at his sanctuary with our burnt offerings, sacrifices and fellowship offerings. Then in the future your descendants will not be able to say to ours, ‘You have no share in the Lord.’ “And we said, ‘If they ever say this to us, or to our descendants, we will answer: Look at the replica of the Lord’s altar, which our ancestors built, not for burnt offerings and sacrifices, but as a witness between us and you.’ “Far be it from us to rebel against the Lord and turn away from him today by building an altar for burnt offerings, grain offerings and sacrifices, other than the altar of the Lord our God that stands before his tabernacle.”
Joshua 22:24-29 NIV
Their reason? So we don’t forget, tomorrow, what God did today.
They did it so the generations to come will remember God and will return to Him.
The altar was a witness to their future selves and future generations.
It was a reminder and a call to trust in God.
What are you doing today so you don’t forget God tomorrow?
What are you doing as a family?
How do you remember God’s faithfulness?
How do you remember God’s love for you?
What do you have as part of your routine or placed in your home to remember to be faithful to your God—Who is faithful to you?
How can we, as parents, set up markers to remember that you are to love one another the way God in Jesus has loved you?
I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.