Read Joshua 4
Memorial of twelve stones; circumcision renewed; passover at Gilgal; manna ceases; Jericho besieged and destroyed.
And 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 (Josh. 6:17).
Jericho was a powerful Canaanite city just inside the promised land. It was a wicked city, typical of all that was ungodly in Canaan. God used the Israelites to execute judgment on all of Canaan for their wickedness (Deut. 18:9-14).
Jericho was the first city in the promised land that God gave to Israel. In fact, it was the only city the Israelites inherited where they did not have to go into battle. God had said, the city shall be accursed. The word accursed means devoted — dedicated things that should have been utterly destroyed. God gave them the city in order that they might burn it as an offering to Him. Only that which comes from God can satisfy Him.
Just as God required the firstborn and firstfruits of their harvest, so He required that Israel dedicate the first city to Himself. 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.
Achan deceived himself when he thought his secret sins would be overlooked. Many people deceive themselves in believing God will overlook their sins and accept them into heaven because they were born in a Christian nation or a Christian family, were baptized, and have kept the Golden Rule.
But only those who have come to the Lord Jesus — confessing their sins, repenting, and asking Him for forgiveness — will be saved. To reject Christ is the greatest of all sins (John 1:12; 3:16; Rom. 10:9-10).
After the accursed thing (Josh. 6:18) 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 of His Word.
He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them . . . I will love him, and will manifest myself to him (John 14:21).
Thought for Today:
Throughout His Word, God has always required His people to give Him first place in their heart and life.
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; 5:14 host of the Lord, army of the Lord; 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 Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Official: Sen. Tom Coburn (OK) • Country: Turkey (64 million) in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe • Major languages: Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic • Official resistance to Christian witnessing • 79% Sunni Muslim; 20% Alawi Shi'ite Muslim; .2% Christian; .04% Jewish (25,000); .09% Armenian Orthodox; .02% Syrian Orthodox; .02% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks to the Lord and praise Him openly, for He has redeemed you through His blood and forgiven all your sins (Col. 1:12-14).
Optional Reading: John 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:14