For the shepherd general, He had one job left. He had to send the men of Rueben, Gad and Manasseh home. That meant the campaign was over and Joshua’s job was done. He had finished the distribution of the lands and now the tribes that claimed the land on the other side of the Jordon could rejoin their families. If Joshua was being honest, he never expected for them to complete the mission, at least without some complaining or trouble. But looking back, they performed excellently and without dispute.
So, they were released to go home. Each man wealthy with the spoils of war and ready to start a life as a free man. When they reached the Jordan, they built an altar. Its construction caused an uproar among the remainder of the tribes and they gathered for war. The rest of the tribes thought the second altar meant that they were separating from Israel. They were wrong. The second altar meant the opposite–they named it, A WITNESS BETWEEN US THAT THE LORD IS GOD. Such a change from the tribal groups that left Egypt half a century before. It was a great reminder that God truly had become the leader of the people.
In our lives, the Lord wants that for us as well. He wants us to have a great life, but, one that He leads. He knows the plan for us–He wants to give us hope and a future (Jer 29:11). If we will follow and trust Him, it will most assuredly be a battle. We will suffer pain and loss, war does that. We will, more importantly, be prepared to claim the inheritance God has so kindly promised us. We will be like the troops of Israel, going home rich with the spoils of war. It requires trust and patience–funny part is, God will provide that too!God Bless You
Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh 2 and said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. 3 For a long time now—to this very day—you have not deserted your fellow Israelites but have carried out the mission the Lord your God gave you. 4 Now that the Lord your God has given them rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan. 5 But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”6 Then Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their homes. 7 (To the half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given land in Bashan, and to the other half of the tribe Joshua gave land on the west side of the Jordan along with their fellow Israelites.) When Joshua sent them home, he blessed them, 8 saying, “Return to your homes with your great wealth—with large herds of livestock, with silver, gold, bronze and iron, and a great quantity of clothing—and divide the plunder from your enemies with your fellow Israelites.”9 So the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the Israelites at Shiloh in Canaan to return to Gilead, their own land, which they had acquired in accordance with the command of the Lord through Moses.10 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…34 And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us—that the Lord is God.