Highlights In Today's Reading:
Twelve stones are a testimony that the hand of the Lord . . . is mighty (4:20-24). The Israelites enter a new chapter in their lives by celebrating Passover and eating something besides manna (5:9-15). Then the walls come tumbling down (chapter 6)!
Jericho was the first city inside the promised land and God said: The city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent (6:17). The word accursed here means devoted to destruction. God gave Israel the city in order that they might burn it as an offering to Him, so all things dedicated to God for sacrifice must be utterly destroyed. It is important for us to learn that only that which comes from God can satisfy Him.
Just as God required the firstborn and the firstfruits of Israel's harvest, so He required that their first city to be defeated should be dedicated to Him. Therefore, until Jericho was totally devoted to God, the people could not claim the rest of the cities for themselves. That is why Achan's sin of taking some of the loot was of such serious consequence. He took something that belonged to God.
After the accursed thing (6:18; 7:1,11,13,15; 22:20) was settled, Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel in mount Ebal (8:30).
Following the burnt offerings (8:31), Joshua read all the words of the Law. . . . There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel (8:34-35).
First, the sacrifice is made — symbolic of giving ourselves to God. Then we receive further revelation from His Word.
Just as Israel found that obedience was required to be in right relationship with the Lord, Christians hear Jesus say: If any man come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23). If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples (John 8:31).
Thought for Today:
It is amazing to see the blessings of God when we give our all to Him, but it is devastating to see the results when we take back what we gave.
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; 4:10 hasted =hurried; 4:11 clean passed =finished crossing; 4:14 magnified =exalted; 4:20 pitch =set up; 5:1 their heart melted =they lost their courage; 5:8 whole =healed; 5:11 old corn =produce from previous harvest; unleavened =yeast-free; parched =toasted; 6:1 straitly shut up =carefully barricaded; 6:3 compass =march around; 6:9 rereward =rear guard; 6:19 consecrated =sacred, set apart; 6:23 kindred =relatives; 6:26 adjured them =required an oath of them; 6:27 noised =spread abroad.
Pray for Staff: Ken Sharp • Government Official: Rep. William Jefferson (LA) • Country: Cyprus (754,000) in the Middle East • Major languages: Greek and Turkish • No open evangelism or conversions to Christ • 75% Greek Orthodox; 19% Muslim; 1% Protestant; 1% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray persistently; you will receive an answer (Luke 11:9-10).
Optional Reading: John 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:12