I’ll quote the important verses: Joshua 22:26,28 (KJV) “ Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice: . . .  Therefore said we, that it shall be, when they should so say to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say again, Behold the pattern of the altar of the Lord, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between us and you (emphasis mine).”
The purpose of the altar made on the “borders of Jordan” (Joshua 22:11 –by the Reubenites, Gaddites, and the half tribe of Manasseh) was only ceremonial. It was never intended to be used as a means of disobedience to the Lord in using a location other than the Tabernacle located in “the land of the possession of the Lord” (Joshua 22:19) where sacrifices and burnt offerings were to be carried out (Joshua 22:29). Why is this important? Well, if any Reubenite, Gaddite, or person from the half tribe of Manasseh wanted to participate in worshiping God the right way then he had to travel across the Jordan over to where the Tabernacle was located to worship God. In other words, the symbolic altar on the Jordan border couldn’t be used as a short cut, or easy way of obeying God. They had to travel a long way in order to go to the actual Tabernacle where the actual Levites were in order to remain obedient to God.
In my mind, imagining how inconvenient and difficult such a journey would have been just to worship God obediently (rather than taking an easy way out, or shortcut) is a metaphor in daily life: In life, there are no shortcuts–period–no ifs, ands, or buts.
I’m sure there are countless examples in scripture conveying this very same concept; however, these passages in particular sting me to my core. Why? It’s simple: The more incommodious the life, the more strenuous it is to embrace delayed gratification.
Why does any of this matter to me? Well, to be honest, those above verses were a slap in my face reminding me that I’m not entitled to an easier life. The fact that hubby and I gave up our home to move in with my mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s doesn’t matter. As Ben Shapiro has stated, “Facts don’t care about feelings.”
Nor does it matter that hubby and I gave up our privacy, a private bathroom, a bedroom big enough for the two of us. As much as my flesh wants to kick and scream, once again, Ben Shapiro’s words ring in my ears: “Facts don’t care about feelings.” Thank you, Ben, for truth. Verity applies to all of life, not just the political arena. While truism isn’t always pleasant, it consistently cleanses.
Whenever I read the Bible, God always has a way of slapping me out of my self-pity. Yes, I can choose to look at my situation as the glass being half full rather than half empty. In my head, I know a lot of textbook answers. Being human, however, it’s easier for me to pitch a fit and wave my fists at God–after which He will then calmly remind me of who I am . . . and Who He Is. So. . .time for me to pick myself up off the floor and get more gloves . . . “Momma” needs me. . . .