Summary: As Christians we always have a new beginning. We just have to start it right.
Text: Joshua 5:1-15
Topic: A New Beginning
1. The passage we have just read happened before Joshua and the whole of Israel started their military campaign to take Canaan for their possession. You will remember that God promised to give them this land first to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
2. They have just crossed Jordan River. Many were eager to proceed with the planned invasion. But no, that can wait. First things first! (Remember FIRST!)
You may have all things planned up for 2006, but, first things first.
If you don’t want to waste precious time, money and effort, first things first!
If you want an illustration of what I am saying, let us read vs.4-6!
3. It’s just like today. In a few hours, 2005 will be gone and a new year is coming. This is the best time to do what Joshua did back then.
A. WE NEED SOME SORT OF A RENEWAL.
1. Year before, God made a covenant with Abram (Gen. 15:1). At first Abram seem to argue (vs. 2,3) but God gave him His assurances (v.5). God also cite some setbacks at first (vs. 13,14) but the end is good. Then, He gave Abram the boundaries of the land (vs. 18).
Part of the covenant involved circumcision as an identifying mark (Gen. 17:10). This they did not practice since leaving Egypt.
Now the nation was in a place where it must once again begin to obey God. They need to be identified as the people of God. (Joshua 5:2).
This is always our need: a place where we will renew our vow. To be re-identified and be re-stored. We need to start where we have fallen.
2. After the renewal and the restoration, they were able to observe the PASSOVER (v.10). It was a joyous restoration. Notice:
a) Manna ceased (v.12) - After 40 years of eating manna, now they can eat the fruit of the land! This is the result of renewal.
OBEDIENCE is the key word. Nothing will prosper if there is total disregard of the Scripture & the revealed will of God.
b) They are making this feast in the plain of Jericho, right in front of their enemies! (Just 20-minute walk)
NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE, AS LONG AS GOD IS IN CONTROL! (see v. 1)
- Elijah in the brook Cherith during the famine (1 Kings 17:2-6)
- Daniel in the lion’s den.
- Peter in prison.
- Paul in chains.
B. CHANGE must also take place.
We pointed out the cessation of manna. In Numbers 11:5,6 we can see how the people complained about it because for 40 years they ate nothing but manna. At the same time they learned that God was faithful in supplying their need.
Manna was for a special purpose. It was for a wilderness state. (No planting because they were traveling; no meat because they were using the beast for traveling.)
The normal way is THROUGH THE FRUIT OF THE LAND. Since they are now about to conquer the land, they should have the fruit for sustenance.
THEY SHOULD NOW WORK FOR THEIR FOOD!
The same is true with the spiritual life! We should work for our daily spiritual food.
1 Thess 4:11 - “work with your own hands.”
God is as powerful and almighty today as He was in the days of Joshua. But God expects us to feed off the fruit of the land and use the provision that he puts before us so that we may grow and de-velop. HE WILL NOT DO FOR US WHAT WE CAN DO FOR OURSELVES.
C. We also need the PRESENCE OF GOD
1. Vs. 13-14 as Joshua lifted up his eyes he saw the COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF Himself. After one question, he fell down to worship.
2. Joshua was about to engage in a BIG WAR in Jericho. It was the greatest barrier he had ever faced. When he asked what he would do, the answer is not train hard, prepare mighty weapons, etc. but v.15 - WORSHIP, PRAY, SUBMISSION.