Joshua Chapter Five (Part Two)

Introduction: A key idea in Joshua is that God blesses obedience. Today, we hope to discuss the circumcision of the people and the Commander of the Lord’s Army.

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Read Joshua 5:10-12

F. The Circumcision of the People. The local kings were afraid of God and His people, after hearing about the crossing of the Jordan River. God tells Joshua to circumcise the people.

This was because all of those circumcised in Egypt were dead because of their sins. This was a new generation of uncircumcised people.

The place is called Gilgal. The Passover is celebrated. The people enjoy the produce of the land and the manna from above is cut off.

Applications -

- Remembering and recommitting. Notice in vs. 10 that the Passover is celebrated. We should remember that the Passover was a time to remember how God miraculously delivered His people out of Egyptian bondage.

For Christians, we have Resurrection Sunday (aka Easter). This is a time to remember that Jesus paid the price for our deliverance from the penalty of our sins.

As individuals, we should have some special times to remember how God did something extra ordinary in our lives. However, remembering what God has done for us should also move us to live obedient lives for Him. Let’s remember God’s goodness and recommit to obeying Him.

- God’s care. Notice in vss. 11-12 of Joshua that we see that the people are moved from one expression of God’s grace to another. God provided manna from Heaven for His people as they traveled to Canaan.

Now that they are in Canaan, God has provided the produce of Canaan for His people. In like manner, if we just keep doing what God is calling us to do, God can be trusted to provide a way for us to make it.

God knows that we need food, clothing, shelter, health, some recreation, and some supportive relationships.

He knows that we need more than songs, scriptures, and service to others. Let’s live like we trust God to take care of His own. Such living should be known for joyful obedience.

When we fail to carryout God’s calling on our lives and focus on taking care of our physical needs, it seems as if we don’t trust God to take care of us.

Read Joshua 5:13-15

G. The Commander of the Lord’s Army. Joshua encounters what turns out to be the Commander of God’s army. He discovers that the ground he is standing on is holy. He takes off his shoes as instructed.

Applications -

- God’s timetable. Notice in vss. 13-14 that the Commander of God’s Army meets up with Joshua. I am not sure if he knew that there was such an angel or person. Joshua found out about him, as he carried out God’s will.

In like manner, there are some things that God shares with us on a “need to know” basis. Some things are fuzzy in our lives right now, but as we continue to obey God, we have a way of understanding it better by and by.

Let’s continue to obey God with confidence in His timetable of sharing details with us.

- God’s army. Notice in vs. 14 that God has an army. It would be a terrible mistake to think that God is a pacifist.

On one hand, God doesn’t fight every battle. He doesn’t use His force without an attempt to use other means. But on the other hand, He always reserves the right to use force. And He has used force on a number of occasions.

Let’s seek God’s wisdom about being involved in the military and war. We should pray for those who have rule over us to use wisdom in getting us involved in “just wars” (e.g., defending ourselves, defending our allies, and maybe a short list of a few others like stopping genocide).

Each individual needs to do some soul searching and understand there are consequences for deciding against the government.

- Looking for the verb. Notice in vss. 14-15 that we are urged to look for the verb and obey it.

More important than there being a Commander and Chief unknown to Joshua and the discussion about under what conditions do God use force is the issues of what does God call you to do and your obedience to God’s will.

As we study the Bible and listen for God’s will, we should always look for the verb or action for us to carryout. And we should have a mind to obey.

Information without application and obedience is not pleasing to God. Let’s work on discerning what God wants us to do and then doing what God wants us to do.

Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying the Lord, so we can be blessed. God has much for those who obey His will.

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