“And the watchmen saw a man leaving the city. And they said to him, ‘Please show us a way into the city and we will deal graciously with you.”
In addition to finding this man who seems to be escaping on his own, the leaders of the house of Joseph make this man a promise — “we will deal graciously with you.” We should note that this statement is more than just a promise of kindness; it is a promise of covenantal protection. The term that is used here is that of dRsRj (chesed), which refers to a sense of being covenantally faithful even if the other person is not being covenantally faithful in return. In other words, the house of Joseph was saying to this man, if you show us the secret way into your city, we will give you covenantal protection.
Ordinarily it is God who offers such protection to those coming under his wing, but there is a place for Christians to do so with others — particularly with respect to others who are part of the body of Christ. We should be looking after one another in the church and working to protect one another against the attacks of the world that are brought on by the enemy of our souls.
Sadly, when tensions come, churches often fall into infighting. Folks, that is sin. There is no other way to describe said reality. How many people in history have been chased away from the church because the church became a dangerous place. That does not mean that we are not challenged and called to repent in the context of the church, but if the church is a place of infighting, then everyone’s guard will be up in such a way that they will not listen to the Truth coming from God’s word — and it is that truth that must be the tool which calls us to repent.