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February 28, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Deuteronomy 3-4
Audio: Deuteronomy 3-4

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Joshua 5 (ESV)

As soon as all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the people of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel.

At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the sons of Israel a second time.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth. And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the males of the people who came out of Egypt, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way after they had come out of Egypt. Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised. For the people of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord; the Lord swore to them that he would not let them see the land that the Lord had sworn to their fathers to give to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. So it was their children, whom he raised up in their place, that Joshua circumcised. For they were uncircumcised, because they had not been circumcised on the way.

When the circumcising of the whole nation was finished, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.

10 While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. 11 And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. 12 And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14 And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15 And the commander of the Lord‘s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

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Next: Joshua 6

Back: Joshua 4

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Holy Ground, Battleground 

    In Exodus 3, the "angel of the Lord" appeared to Moses in a burning bush. After Moses said, "I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned" (Exodus 3:3), the Lord called out to him from the bush and said, "'Moses, Moses!' And he said, 'Here I am.' 5 Then he said, 'Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.' 6 And he said, 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God" (Exodus 3:4-6).

    In similar fashion, Joshua (Moses' successor) is met not by the angel of the Lord but the "commander of the army of the Lord" (Joshua 5:14). He appeared to Joshua with a drawn sword in His hand (Joshua 5:13). 

    The ESV Study Bible says, "The expression with his drawn sword in his hand appears in Numbers 22:23, 31 and 1 Chronicles 21:16, where it refers to the angel of the Lord as the agent of God’s zeal."

    As the angel of the Lord said to Moses, "take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground", the commander of the Lord said to Joshua, "Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy" (Joshua 5:15). 

    This appears to be the pre-incarnate Son of God. The Lord said to Joshua, "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you" (Joshua 1:5). He now stands before Joshua as they prepare for war.

    In preparation for Israel "taking the land" beginning in the next chapter of Joshua, author Dale Ralph Davis offers some valuable insight into the impending war. He writes, "In Genesis 15:16 Yahweh explained to Abram that his descendants would not inherit Canaan immediately but would come back in the fourth generation, ‘for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete’. The implication is that Yahweh was being patient with the present inhabitants of the land but that when their sins had reached the limit, he would use Abram’s descendants to bring judgment upon them.

    "This view is confirmed in the rest of the Pentateuch. Yahweh cast out the residents of Canaan because of their gross sexual perversions (Leviticus 18:24–25) and their zeal for magic, divination, and all such pagan hanky-panky (Deuteronomy 18:12). Hence Israel must not assume a holier-than-you-all attitude, for Yahweh will not bring his people into the land because they are righteous and deserving; 'it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yahweh is driving them out before you' (Deuteronomy 9:4–5). The conquest is not a bunch of land-hungry marauders wiping out, at the behest of their vicious God, hundreds of innocent, God-fearing folks. In the biblical view, the God of the Bible uses none-too-righteous Israel as the instrument of his just judgment on a people who had persistently reveled in their iniquity. This will not answer all your dilemmas with the conquest, but you must see the Old Testament’s view—the conquest is not gross injustice but the highest (and most patient [Genesis 15:16]) justice."

    Davis, D. R. (2000). Joshua: No Falling Words (pp. 51–52). Scotland: Christian Focus Publications.

    We need to have a right attitude about God and His character when we read the accounts of the fall of Jericho and those who were devoted to destruction. If we don't, we risk humanizing or rationalizing the events that are unfolded in the coming chapters of Joshua. 

    We will fall on our face to the ground in worship as Joshua did when he met the commander of the army of the Lord or will we hide our face in shame?

  2. As I was praying this morning, thanking God for His Son, Jesus, I thought about what it might be like when He comes back for us. I cried, and I’m sure that's what I'll do when I see Him: I will be in complete awe, fall to my knees in worship, and cry tears of pure joy and thanksgiving. 

    I don't, in any way, shape, or form, deserve to be called or saved by Him, and yet, I am. It's truly incredible beyond words. 

  3. “As soon as all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the people of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel.”

    It was obvious to all those pagan kings that Israel’s God was to be feared! Scripture is filled with scenes like this one, where God does something so out of the ordinary there should be no doubting of Him at all. And if we pray in faith, even faith the size of a mustard seed, Jesus says we, too, will experience the power of God.

    Remember the film we watched on Sunday about George Mueller? 

    Yet our hearts are deceitful, aren’t they? We try to rationalize away miracles. Our wavering and unbelief becomes the very obstacle that keeps us from experiencing God, and then we proclaim, “That was a different time” to protect ourselves from even more dangerous doubts about God.

    Remember: 

    “And [Jesus] did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.” Matthew 13:58

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