Anatomy of a Conflict

June 22, 2022
  1. Communication-
  • The first step toward a conflict is always a communication breakdown.
  • On the Eastern side, they had an opportunity to say something when they were standing before Joshua but they didn’t. Instead, they went ahead and built a very imposing altar Just at the boundary.
  • On the western side, they would have gone to inquire what the others were building. Instead, they acted on a rumour and mounted a war without finding out the reasons.
  • Communication is the key to healthy relationships! Explain what you are doing and if you see someone doing something you don’t understand, ask!

2. Competition

  • All conflict is built around selfishness! James 4:1-3

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”

  • The two and a half tribes assumed that their brothers would block their children from worship so they built the altar of Witness. This is the “limited goods mentality.”
  • The nine and a half tribes saw their brothers dragging them into idolatry and therefore they reacted by declaring war. This is self-righteousness.

# most of the time the competition is over nothing, but the acts that we commit become something. We should complement each other not compete with each other.

3. Conclusions

  • People misjudge others. That is what a conflict is all about. We assume the worst about someone then we act on that conclusion.
  • In the east, they assumed that the westerners were snobs and they looked down upon them and therefore will block their children from accessing worship. They, therefore, decided to build an altar to remind them that they too have a right to worship.
  • In the west, they assumed that their eastern brothers were idolatrous and unfaithful. They, therefore, decided to fight them.
  • What are we overlooking? The shared history! These tribes had been together for close to 47 years, the last seven being spent on the campaign for the land. They had fought hand in hand depended on one another. Yet here when there was rest conflict arose.
  • In times of rest, we realize new conflicts. After marriage, after retirement, after promotion, after victory. It is called the “morning-after syndrome” – after every great achievement, there is a battle. We must know that we never really rest or take it easy on the earth. We are always in a battle and we cannot let our guard down.
  • In apparent conflict do not jump to conclusions, inquire from the other person and open up a discussion.