The Youngest Reubenite Soldier's Thoughts
I'd finally experienced a true victory. The Israelite army challenged the king of Jerusalem with his united armies, as the Lord commanded us to--and won!
My tribe, the Reubenite's, volunteered to stand in the front ranks. I learned from my uncles how to use any available object as a weapon and how to spy out the enemy.
If you asked me which battle pumped the most energy into my bones I wouldn't know which to choose: the Lord crashing Jericho's walls to the ground, the Lord's flush out soldiers and attack battle plan against Ai, or the Lord's blistering thundercloud blasting hail on the King of Jerusalem's army. Could you choose?
With the Lord's instructions, Joshua led our army through the Promised Land. We conquered hundreds of cities in the Lord's Name and never got tired. The Lord made us swift like eagles and strong as lions.
Joshua had lived a long life. He grew too old to lead the battles.
Many more battles needed to be fought, but Joshua needed a break. The Lord showed us how to divide the Promised land for each tribe and to continue fighting the battles. My tribe, and two other tribes had permission to cross back over the river Jordan to our land.
We said goodbye to our cousins and left for the river. On the beach, the leaders looked across the waters and sighed. "What will the next generations say about our families? Will they turn away from us and say, 'There they live on the other side of the Jordan; they have nothing to do with the Lord God of Israel?'
"Let's build an altar to show all Israelites on the west side of the River Jordan our love and devotion to the Lord God of Israel." We worked all day to finish.
Unfortunately the other tribes thought we wanted to make a new god to worship. They came after us to start a battle. When they arrived, the leaders yelled, "You'll ruin everything! How can you make a god after what the Lord has done for us?"
We fell on our faces and wept. "You don't understand. We only wanted future generations to know we're still part of Israel and we promise our obedience to the Lord even though we live on the other side of the river. This altar shows our love for God."
Our cousins dropped their weapons and hugged us as brothers. Now, that was scary.
1. Have you done something you meant to be good then found yourself in trouble?
2. What did you do?
3. What did the men from the three tribes do when the other tribes yelled?
4. How did the story end?
5. Who helped these Israelite cousins understand each other?