Read Joshua 4 -- 6
In Today's Reading:
The pile of stones: take . . . twelve men . . . twelve stones . . . carry them (Joshua 4:2-3). The new Covenant confirmed. The Passover: And the children of Israel . . . kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month (5:10). The 40-year diet: ceased (5:11-12). The Captain of the Lord's host (the pre-incarnate Jesus) reassures Joshua (5:13-15). Then Joshua leads a march around Jericho and the walls come tumbling down!
Verse for Today:
The Lord said to Joshua, Make sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel. . . . All the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came out of Egypt . . . had not been circumcised (Joshua 5:2).
The memorial of 12 stones at Gilgal; circumcision of the new generation; Passover at Gilgal; manna ceases; the Lord appears to Joshua; Jericho besieged and destroyed.
The rite of circumcision had been instituted by the Lord with Abraham as a visible, fleshly sign of His covenant and now was required before the new generation was permitted to eat the Passover (Genesis 17:9-14; Exodus 12:43-51).
Circumcision and the Passover both represented the Israelites' holy covenant relationship with God, and they had neglected both for about 40 years. The Passover represented God's part of the Covenant. In it they witnessed His redeeming love. Circumcision represented Israel's commitment of loyalty and love. It symbolized surrender, submission, and sanctification by the crucifixion of the flesh. Moses had said: Circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stiffnecked (stubborn and disobedient) (Deuteronomy 10:16).
Their life needed to be in a right relationship to God before they were qualified to judge the Canaanites. It was only after they were circumcised that the Israelites were qualified to execute the judgment of God on the Canaanites.
This was the command of the One True God, Who said: The land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomits out her inhabitants (Leviticus 18:25). Later, God had added: Because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God does drive them out (Deuteronomy 9:5; also 18:10-12). When Abraham had journeyed through the land, we read: The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full (Genesis 15:16); and centuries had passed since that declaration without a sign of their repentance. Even during all those years, warnings were clear: Sodom and Gomorrah had been destroyed by fire and brimstone, Pharoah and his armies were destroyed, and the kings of Bashan and the Amorites had fallen. Everyone in Jericho knew as much as Rahab did, but she alone put her faith in God. All the other Canaanite kings knew what the Gibeonites knew, but they chose to fight against God. They were defending their gods and their own wickedness. Thus, the Israelites' conquest of the land was, in fact, the result of the Canaanites' rejection of God.
God continues to call His people of all generations to a circumcision of the heart in a spirit of submission to Him. The New Testament provides further light on how this relationship still exists: As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him. . . . In Whom also you 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 you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who has raised Him from the dead (Colossians 2:6).
This foreshadows the final judgment of all people who continue in their sins: The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire; taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8).
A Thought from Psalms: Your Statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage (119:54).
As the Captain of the host (heavenly beings) of the Lord (Joshua 5:14). Joshua recognized he was in the presence of Deity, and not merely an angel, for he fell and worshiped Him signifying that he was a servant of the One who stood before him. At the name of Jesus every knee should bow. . . . and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).
5:1 by the sea = along the Mediterranean Sea; 5:11 old corn = ripe grain; produce; unleavened cakes = bread made without yeast; 6:9 rearward (rereward) = rear guard; 6:17-18 accursed = devoted to the Lord, consequently it was destroyed (comp. Lev 27:28) -- the irrevocable giving over of something to the Lord, often by totally destroying it as in a burnt offering; 6:26 adjured them = made them take a most solemn oath.
Government Official: Rep. William Jefferson (LA) · Pray for the President · Country: United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, & Wales) (59 million) off the coast of western Europe · Major languages: English and Welsh · Religious freedom · 53% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 2.5% Muslim; .8% Sikh; .7% Hindu; .6% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord with all of your heart, and tell others of the marvelous things He has done (Psalms 73:28).
Optional Reading: John 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:14