Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
The Jane Austen Centre and Regency Tea Room in Bath, England

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Mar 23, Josh 5-8

Today's readings are Josh 5-8. Tomorrow's are Josh 9-11.

In Josh 5, we see that the people are called, through the rite of circumcision to bear the reminder of their covenant with God. This is another pattern we see in God's people. They are a unique people who are not only set apart but bear the mark of their God. In other words, there should be some outward indication that they belong to the one true God.   

As it turns out, this is in preparation for their entry into the Promised Land. Not only do they bear the mark but their commitment to obey God's command, even if it causes some pain, will make them ready for the battles ahead.

It is significant that they observe a Passover meal prior to entering Canaan (Deut 5:10-12). Taken in conjunction with the circumcision, the two acts are poignant reminders of from where they've come and how they arrived on the banks of the Jordan. It was all God's doing because they are His people. Furthermore, as they enter the land of promise the manna ceases to fall from the sky. They will live off of the fruit and abundance of their new home.  

Upon seeing a heavenly being, Joshua wants to know whose side he is on. The angel, perhaps God Himself, says he's not on anyone's side. He carries judgment in his hand and has come to do battle. It becomes clear to Joshua that God does not take sides; He is God. All will bow down to Him, one way or another!
This is what Jericho looked like in Joshua's time.
Jericho falls in a manner that can only give glory to God in Josh 6. During the battle and immediately afterward, some of the warriors sin rather blatantly then try to cover it up with fatal results. The people are made aware of this when they are defeated by the army of Ai (Deut 7). They will experience victory only if they are right with God insofar as it is humanly possible. God will remove His conquering presence if they are openly rebellious to Him. 

They gain the victory over Ai in Josh 8, but only after purging the camp of sin. They learn that success is solely dependent upon God and the spiritual health of their relationship with Him.

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