Apr. 16 – (Josh. 4:11-24) There are two things I want to think about in these verses. 1. This is very significant (and exciting)! The Israelites came up from the Jordan on the 10th day of the 1st month (4:19). Now look at when God told the Israelites to have their first Passover (Ex. 12:1-3). God wanted them to remember…which leads us to the second thing. 2. Memorials: verses 5-7 are instructions to pass on what the Lord did in their lives. The Lord works in our lives everyday but it’s those pivotal moments that our children need to hear about and not just “one and done”. As parents, we need to teach our children how to rely on the Lord and see what He will do. They do become adults. They do follow our ways, but only if they see the benefit of them. Selah
Apr. 17 – (Josh. 5:1-12) Why did God stop the manna when He did? Sometimes when things stop coming to us, we forget that God will always provide and there is something better to come. Selah
Why did God also begin circumcision again? We know from these verses that Joshua was the only one who was circumcised (No one in the wilderness journey was circumcised.). Why was this so important? Let’s go back a little farther. Circumcision was a rite established by God when He first called Abraham out of paganism and covenanted with him that He would bless Abraham with a land, a seed, and a blessing (Gen. 12:1-3). The “land” was Canaan! The “seed” was the nation Israel! And the “blessing” was the Savior who would come into the world to die for the sins of all mankind! God confirmed that covenant with Abraham by means of circumcision. It was a “sign of the covenant” (Gen. 17:9-14). This was a continuing fulfilment of that covenant.
Whenever God acts, He usually achieves more than one purpose with the same event or situation. Here are just a few I just found out in this study. 4,000 years after God’s command to Abraham regarding circumcision, medical science discovered that wives of men who had not been circumcised have less “female” issues than wives of men who have been circumcised. Another insight: The son was to be circumcised on the 8th day after birth. Natural resources in the human body for preventing excessive bleeding reach a 110 % level about the eighth day and then level off quickly following this point in time. Before this day natural resources have not yet been produced in sufficient quantity in the child’s body to make the operation as safe! God is so amazing!
Apr. 18 – (Josh. 5:13-15) I was drawn to the angel’s response to Joshua’s question of whose side He was on. Here is a commentary by E. John Hamlin from “Joshua - Inheriting the Land”. The simple answer was “No!” It is a warning against a misinterpretation of the words “with you” and “among you.” There can be no relief from the anxiety out of which the question comes, because the covenant Lord is free, not subject to attempts “to get Him on our side,” to make Him a kind of “idol” that would always do our will (Isa. 48:5). The covenant Lord is free to become an adversary (Hos. 13:8; Lam. 2:5) or to allow Israel’s adversaries to do their work (Isa. 10:5-6). This “no” is especially important in time of war, which arouses emotions of hatred, fear, revenge, and the demand that whatever is done must be blessed by God. On the eve of the struggle for the land, this incident reminds Joshua and later generations that the struggles in which they are engaged must be subordinated to God’s greater purpose for the whole earth. Joshua’s reply, “What does my Lord bid His servant?”, reminds us of Jesus’ prayer before his final confrontation with the power of evil: “Not what I will but what thou wilt” (Mk. 14:36). I think I need to do some repenting myself. Selah!
Apr. 19 – (Josh. 6: 1-14) God is setting up the Israelites for their first victory in their new land. They had seen God guide them through the wilderness in unconventional ways. Do you think they thought this wouldn’t work? Or were they so pumped from crossing a dry Jordan that this was no big deal? When you are asking Jesus to give you victory in some “land” you need to possess, do you hear some unconventional way and disregard it? Is it hard to wait to see victory?
Let me give you an excerpt from “Jesus Calling” that I read today. STOP TRYING TO WORK THINGS OUT before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask Me (Jesus) whether or not it is part of today’s agenda. If it isn’t, release it into My care and go on about today’s duties. When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: “a time for everything, and everything in its time”. When your focus is on My Presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. Though the world around you is messy and confusing, remember that “I have overcome the world. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have Peace.”
Apr. 20 – (Josh. 6:15-27) What does the description of Jericho’s destruction say to us today? There are many interpretations of which describe God reaching out to all nations to believe in Him (Rahab), to Jesus being silent before His accusers (being silent as they marched around the city), and more. Here is my reminder: 1. The battle is not ours, but God’s’ we much subject our wills and our methods to Him. 2. We must discern social, political, and religious points that God wants us to separate ourselves from. 3. God’s purpose in calling His people and giving them living space is that all families of the earth should be blessed with the knowledge of Him and His love. Selah
Apr. 21 – (Josh. 7:1-15) Look at verse 1. It says the “people” of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things… It doesn’t say just Achan broke faith. So, my sin doesn’t just affect me and my family, its affects go much broader than that. “Jesus forgive me, and please help me not to sin.” Selah
Apr. 22 – (Josh. 7:16-26) What was the reason the Israelites could not conquer Ai at first? Can you imagine being Achan and going through that sin, discovery, and punishment? Did he still think he could get away with it even as they narrowed the selection? Next question: Do I try to “possess” things God has already destroyed and wants me to dispossess? Again, how many other people are affected by my sin (36 died here)? Selah