Twelve stones are a testimony that the hand of the Lord . . . is mighty (Josh. 4:20-24). The Israelites enter a new chapter in their lives by circumcision and celebrating Passover. Then the walls of Jericho come tumbling down (chap. 6)!
Verses for Today:
At that time the Lord said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel (new generation) the second time (Josh. 5:2).
When the estimated two million Israelites crossed the Jordan River, the Canaanite inhabitants were gripped with terror (2:9). This may have seemed like the perfect time for the Israelites to rush into battle and claim the land God had promised them. But they were not yet in a right Covenant relationship with God. The rite of circumcision had been instituted by the Lord with Abraham, the father of the faithful, as a visible sign of the people's Covenant relationship with Him (Gen. 17:9-14). It was required before anyone could eat the Passover (Ex. 12:48).
In keeping with the Covenant of God with Abraham, the new generation had to submit to the humbling rite of circumcision. Their obedience ensured them of the continued protection and direction of God.
After being circumcised, the new generation became identified as the Lord's Covenant people and were qualified to keep the Passover (Josh. 5:8,10). The Passover commemorated the Lord's deliverance of His people from Egypt and pointed the way to the Messianic Deliverer (I Cor. 5:7). Circumcision and the Passover foreshadowed the ordinances (commands) of believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper for the Church.
At His last Passover, our Lord Jesus revealed that His death would fulfill and replace the Passover. The Apostle Paul spoke of this New Covenant, saying: The Lord Jesus . . . took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped (finished eating), saying, This cup is the New Testament (Covenant) in My blood (I Cor. 11:23-25).
The Christian's circumcision is also explained by Paul: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead (Col. 2:11-12).
Thought for Today:
For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom. 8:3-4).
As the Captain of the host of the Lord (Josh. 5:14). Christ is the Captain of our salvation (Heb. 2:10).
4:6 sign =memorial monument; 4:11 clean passed =finished crossing; 4:14 magnified =exalted; 4:20 pitch =set up; 5:11 old corn =produce from previous harvest; unleavened =yeast-free; 6:1 straitly shut up =carefully barricaded; 6:3 compass =march around; 6:9 rereward =rear guard; 6:19 consecrated =sacred, set apart to the Lord; 6:26 adjured them =required an oath of them; 6:27 noised =spread abroad.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Barbara Bivens • Country: Brazil (168 million) in South America • Major languages: Portuguese and Spanish • Religious freedom • 67% Catholic; 21% Protestant; 4% spiritist; .7% Buddhist; .7% Muslim; .15% Indigenous; 2.4% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray in one accord and praise God as the Creator (Acts 4:24).
Optional Reading: John 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:7-8