To understand is to comprehend the nature of a thing, appreciate or make sense of something, or believe to be the case with clarity. Understanding stands opposed to confusion in which there is no comprehension or a proper perception of what is being conveyed. It is imperative that brothers understand themselves for peace to prevail.

The Prophet Amos asks, “Can two walk together unless they agree?” Agreeing comes only when there is understanding. Since understanding normally comes by careful study and interaction, we must learn not to rush to draw conclusions about people to condemn them in haste but to probe to understand.

Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, all at the east side of the Jordan consented and built an imposing altar at Geliloth by the Jordan. When the rest of Israel heard this, they gathered their armies at Shiloh to fight and wipe out their brothers at the east of Jordan. To them, the altar had been raised for idolatry in opposition to the only altar ordained by God near the tabernacle of meeting, an act they feared would incur the anger of God on all Israel.

Thank God for a delegation they sent ahead of the army. To the dismay of the team, the altar was raised with a genuine and a rather God-honouring motive of serving as a generational reminder that all Israel-both east and west of the Jordan were one and served the same God. They told the delegation that they built the altar “as a sign for our people and yours, and for the generations after us.

May we gain an understanding of things we do not know before taking a decision always!