the Altar of Witness
Phinehas and the ten princes did their work well. It was politic as well as true to remind the departing warriors that they could not rebel against God without involving the whole nation. So deeply did the spirit of love work in their hearts that Phinehas and his men even proposed to share the land of western Canaan with them, rather than that they should drift away from the Law of God. There was a gentleness, a desire to conciliate, a yearning over their brethren, which were quite after the mind of Christ, and which had the desired effect in a frank disavowal of any of those unworthy motives that their brethren had imputed.
So is it always. Let us lay aside the sword for the olive-branch. Before proceeding to severer measures, whether as individuals or as nations, let us ever try to restore our brethren “in the spirit of meekness.” Let us count it a greater gain to win a brother than to conquer him. As we grow older, may we become more mellow! Mat 18:15 ; Gal 6:1-5 .