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Bible Pathways 03/14/2003

March 14

Read Joshua 4 -- 6

In Today 's Reading:

Memorial at Gilgal; circumcision; Passover at Gilgal; manna ceases; Jericho besieged and destroyed

God said: I have given the land to you to possess it (Numbers 33:53); but, the promises of God always include personal responsibilities. Before going further into the land, the LORD said to Joshua . . . circumcise the sons of Israel (Joshua 5:2-5).

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 (Genesis 17:9-14). It was required before anyone could eat the Passover (Exodus 12:48).

After being circumcised, the new generation became identified as the Lord's covenant people and qualified to keep the Passover (Joshua 5:8,10). The Passover commemorated the Lord's deliverance of His people from Egypt and pointed the way to the messianic Deliverer (I Corinthians 5:7). Circumcision and the Passover foreshadowed the ordinances of believer's baptism and the Lord's supper for the church.

At His last Passover supper, our Lord Jesus revealed that His death on the cross would fulfill and replace the Passover. Paul spoke of this new covenant, saying: On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said, This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me. In the same way He also took the cup, after supper, and said, This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes (I Corinthians 11:23-26).

The Christian's circumcision is also explained by Paul: In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of the Messiah. Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses (Colossians 2:11-13).

Christ Revealed:

As the Captain of the host of the LORD (Joshua 5:14). The revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels (II Thessalonians 1:7). Christ is the Captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. William Jefferson (LA) · Country: Suriname (431,000) on the northeastern coast of South America · Major languages: Dutch and English · Very limited religious freedom · 27% Hindu; 22% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 20% Muslim; 6% witchcraft and spirit worship · Prayer Suggestion: Do not be fearful or live in dread of what might happen; trust the Lord to take care of you (Psalms 112:7).

Optional Reading: John 5

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:14

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