S: Numbers 32:1-7,16-22
The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon— the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.” Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them?”
Then they came up to him and said, “We would like to build pens here for our livestock and cities for our women and children. But we will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place. Meanwhile our women and children will live in fortified cities, for protection from the inhabitants of the land. We will not return to our homes until each of the Israelites has received their inheritance. We will not receive any inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan, because our inheritance has come to us on the east side of the Jordan.” Then Moses said to them, “If you will do this—if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for battle and if all of you who are armed cross over the Jordan before the Lord until he has driven his enemies out before him— then when the land is subdued before the Lord, you may return and be free from your obligation to the Lord and to Israel.”
O: It's unclear if the Reubenites & Gadites were originally trying to not go on to fight for the Promised Land or not; I thought they were, but Juliane thought that they weren't, and only gave in after Moses admonished them.
In any case, the Reubenites & Gadites had wanted to do something which seemed reasonable to them, which seemed totally unreasonable to Moses and the rest. In this case, if Juliane's interpretation is correct, then they realized their error when Moses admonished them. If not, then Moses at least saw what they meant after discussion and allowed them to propose a compromised.
In Joshua 22, the Reubenites & Gadites get misunderstood again -- this time with even more potentially disastrous consequences. Here it is very clear that the rest of Israel had misunderstood them and that they had not intended anything wrong. Fortunately, this time as well, before things came to blows, the rest of the Israelites actually sent a fact-finding party, so things were resolved again.
A: Many times we have thought we were reasonable while the other people are being unreasonable, but if we actually do some proper investigation out before we act, it may turn out to be a misunderstanding.
James 1:19-20 says "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."
P: Father, help me remember this the next time someone else does something which seems terrible to me. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)