Have you ever been in a conversation where the other person finishes your sentences for you and sometimes goes ahead and explains the solution or the answer to your problem or question before you have even finished expressing your ideas or concerns? It can be very frustrating. Real problems can develop when you cannot communicate with them or correct them. Sometimes people simply hear about a situation or observe things from a distance and then they make certain assumptions and begin to act upon them without investigating the reason or asking any questions that would help them understand the whole situation. “Jumping to a conclusion” is usually very risky, but most of us are prone to do it given the right situation, aren’t we?
When the tribes of Israel who had been assigned to the territory on the eastern side of the Jordan River were returning home, they had a very good idea. Why not build a large altar right by the river, so that future generations will clearly remember that we are unified with the tribes that will be living on the western side of the Jordan? It was never meant to be an altar for sacrifices of any kind. It was a memorial. When the rest of the Israelites simply heard that an altar had been built, they gathered to make war against those who had gone back to Gilead. The assumption was that those leaders had rebelled against God. It could have been a major disaster – a useless loss of life and misunderstanding and all because they acted on hearsay.
Finding out the facts can often lead to settling or resolving a dispute or a disagreement, can’t it? Friendship can be re-established and reconciliation can take place. Harmony and unity is a high calling for all those who want to live out their faith in the Lord!