FAITH TO ENTER GODS PROMISES

Everyone Should be Dedicated to God

Joshua 5

Jerry A Collins

2/6/05

SCC

 

*               What is the significance of circumcision?

*               What reproach was rolled away when Israel was circumcised?

*               Who is the Captain of the Lord of Hosts?

 

Last nite we went through a daily ritualthe same one you go thruwe washed our dirty dishes. Almost everyday we end up with a loaded dishwasher that we use to clean the dishes of the day. It also usually includes several larger dishes that we wash by hand in the sink. We do this because we want to have clean dishes to use the next time. We would never consider using the same dirty dishes again until they were cleaned. Just like our dishes there are regular intervals in our lives when we too need cleansing. Where we understand the need to consecrate ourselves and clean up an area or two of our lives and renew our commitment to walk in the Spirit. To set aside a sin or to remember a promise or to confess and change course in our lives. Under Joshuas leadership, with miraculous intervention, a beachhead was established at Gilgal (4:19). And from every vantage point it was time to strike immediately. The morale of enemy has collapsed in face of recent news of Israelites. And as it spread so did the fear. But Gods plan included some unfinished business that was spiritual in nature. Consecration, commitment, dedication, renewal would prepare the people for the conquest at hand. Without this preparation there could be no victory. The preparation is four-fold in nature.

1. RENEWED COMMITMENT TO GOD THRU CIRCUMCISION 1-9

This rite was to be renewed amongst the people.

Enemy fears Gods people 1 When the news spread of Israels Jordan experience, there was no spirit left in the enemy. This is unique to the nation of Israel. It never happened to the churchthat the people of the world feared the people of God. God does not work in the church the same way he did in Israel. This was the mistake of the crusaders. The church thot it was Israel and therefore the nations would fear them as God worked thru them. But the Muslims hatred of xians grew and resolved to destroy them. Today when xians attempt to promote conservative xians values politically, the result is not a fear of God but hatred of xians. The point here is to reveal the opportune time it was for Israel to attack. Their enemy is on his heels. God tells Josh to circumcise 2-3 It begins with At this time indicating the time when the enemy was beatable. This is when God intervenes with command to circumcise. Observations: (1) Gen 17:12 was a command to Moses. (2) Newborn males done on 8th day. Others done when became part of people. Abe 99, Ishmael 13 when done. (3) Anyone not done were separated from Israel. (4) Circumcision had several purpose: a. Visible sign of commitment to God. b. Sign of belonging to God not culture around them. c. Reminded nation of Gods promise to Abe. d. Deut 10:17 Moses said circumcise your heart not be stiff-necked people so it included meaning attached to act and this idea repeated in Rom 2:29. e. set apart from world, to God, in humility since there is no personal advantage to it. The point here is the significance of obedience even tho it would incapacitate his entire army outside enemies fortress (vs 8) making them vulnerable to attack instead of taking offensive at opportune time. Explanation is given 4-7 Those who came out of Egypt had been circumcised (Josh & Caleb only ones left) but those born during wandering not done. Not being circumcised was further evidence of their parents spiritual indifference so this sacred rite had to be renewed for this generation. The reproach is removed 8-9 The Lord acknowledges the completed task declaring Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you. We are not told what exactly this reproach or shame was but that it had been removed.

2. CELEBRATING THE PASSOVER 10 The nation arrived at Jordan at precise time of Passover. Gods timing always appropriate. This was only the 3rd Passover the nation observed (Ex 12:1-28; Num 9:1-5). It is not mentioned as observed in wilderness. They are reliving that nite again with the awful death cries in Egypt, the midnite departure, the terror of pursuit, thrill of walking between walls of water. Crossing Jordan similar to crossing Red Sea and as one was followed by destruction of enemy so assurance that this one followed by defeat of Canaanites. So remembering the past is way to prepare ourselves for future.

3. DEPENDING UPON FRUIT OF THE LAND 11-12

That day they ate from the produce of the land and the manna ceased. It was time to depend on the land not on Gods miraculous intervention. Both were God providing for their needs. But now it would come from harvest of land and they will have to fite the enemy. In the spiritual life God may remove a temptation for a baby xian. But that is not way it will always be. Removing all temptations is never way to become spiritually mature. There comes time when the manna ends and you need to deal with the land, the life situation you are in. Most of your temptations will never go away.

4. GOD IS IN CHARGE 13-15

Seeing man with sword Josh asks and man answers. Josh bowing and removing sandals indicates holy person. Throughout biblical history a person appears who is not God the Father (because one cannot see Him without dying Ex 33:20). Neither is this person an angel because he is called Lord and is worshipped and good angels do not receive worship (Rev 19:10; 22:8). This person is preincarnate Christ and the reason people saw God and lived when should have died was because they were seeing God the Son, not God the Father and it is the Son who came to declare the Father (Jn 1:18) to us.

(1) Expect God to prepare the hearts of the people to respond to His messengers (5:1). That does not mean it will go smoothly or easily or without conflict as seen in Pauls teaching and rejections in synagogue in Acts 18 & 28.

(2) Obey God no matter how vulnerable it makes you or untimely it seems to you (5:2-3). When God has clearly spoken in His Word then following God may sometimes seem irrational or illogical but Jesus said those who love Him obey Him.

(3) God does not forget His Word just because we forget it. Circumcision was ignored for 430 yrs but God remembered. The gospel, literal following of Bible ignored by eastern & western church for over 1000 yrs before Reformation began to look at it again. But God did not forget (5:4-8).

(4) Worship places change from time to time but is carried out according to guidelines specified for age we live in (5:9-10). For church age, defined by presenting out bodies as living holy sacrifice. It has to do with what we physically do all day long during this life here on earth and confessing sin.

(5) God may provide an unusual deliverance from your sinful habits, practices or the consequences of them but the normal xian life is not manna in the wilderness (miraculous deliverance) but eating the fruit of the life situation you are inlike taking up your cross (your life situation) daily and following Him. Dont let a day go by. Sometimes God may deliver us from our situation like he did with Noah and often will deliver us thru it like Job. We must live thru and in our situation in a godly way, not look for escape from it (5:11-12).

(6) Understand it is God who is in charge of His forces. We just work here and follow Him (5:13-15).