Summary: God parted the Jordan, God brought them up out of the river bed, God brought them out of the wilderness, but what was their part in the conditioning?
Conditioned for the Conquest: Part 2; Joshua 5; Preached at Midway Community Church March 5, 2000.
Last time we saw in chapter 4; conditioned for the conquest, God’s Part. The Crossing that was finished & the Coming up that freed them. We saw how God did everything necessary so they EXCHANGE the wilderness life for a life lived in new territory called Canaan. The land He had promised to them nearly 600 years earlier. What was God’s part? He cut off the waters, and He brought them across on dry ground and up out of the depths of the riverbed. And then He causes the waters to come back to separate them from the wilderness life forever.
Today in Chapter 5 we are going to see what their part was in the EXCAHNGE. Someone said to me the other day that they understand some of what God has done for us in Christ at the cross, but what do I do? What is my part in this tremendous deliverance? Today in chapter 5 we will see our part in being freed and being able to walk in a DEPENDENT relationship with God in the everyday circumstances of life. How we can allow the promises of God to become a reality to us here and now.
1. WE MUST REALIZE A CONDITION THAT NOW EXIST; (A PERTINANT TRUTH) 5:1 beyond and near; all the kings; hearts melted; no spirit; What an encouraging thing for these Israelites to realize. This land, occupied by bigger and stronger people than themselves, was going to be theirs, because the Lord had done such a marvelous thing in their behalf. Their day was over. They were by all counts defeated. The only thing that could stop them now was themselves. At Jericho, at AI, throughout out their journey they would be the only ones who could stop them. THE ONLY THING THAT WILL KEEP US FROM EXCHANGING OUR LIVES FOR HIS IS OURSELVES. You can blame it on a partner, a church, a mother, a father, a child, but in reality you are the only one who will stop the exchange. You are the one who will decide you cannot forgive someone, you cannot give up the control of your life, and you cannot give up trying to fix other people. God has given us everything we need, He has given us His life to meet the circumstances of this life, and we must make the exchange if we are to realize victory. THIS IS A PERTINANT TRUTH. WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND IT IS US! YOU AND I ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN KEEP US FROM BEING A SELFER, FROM ALLOWING JESUS TO EXTEND EXPRESS AND TO EXIBIT HIS LIFE THROUGH US.
2. The second thing they were going to have to do as their part in the EXCAHNGE; REMOVE THE CIRCUMCISED FLESH; ( a painful ordeal) v2-9 What was this circumcision all about? It was a way they were reminded that they had covenant relationship with God. They had as it were exchanged their life for His. Everyday the male Israelite looked at this part of his body he was reminded of this exchange. That he did not get life from his flesh but from his covenant relationship with God. God did something for them that would remind them everyday of this.
1. Who was to do this? V2-3; Joshua; ref Col. 2:11-14; Jesus made it possible for our flesh, our old ways to be removed in Him.
2. Why were they to do this? V4-6; the entire time spent in the wilderness was spent uncircumcised, with the crossing over came a new relationship with God. He would no longer be just a cloud or a fire but He would become their life here in the promise land. They had not listened to God and they spent the whole time uncircumcised. I said it was a painful ordeal, there are some observations about that as well.
a. It was worth it; to know of your covenant relationship in the heat of battle etc. to put off the flesh and walk in the Spirit is a painful ordeal for us, especially when we want to do our thing our way etc;
b. it weaken them; v8; In our weakness He is made strong;
c. Without it the REPROACH (disgrace) of the old life remains; the independent living, the life of a selfer is still there; it becomes a disgrace to us personally; if we say we are trusting and all the time we are living out of the old flesh patterns, the old ways of handling life when we get rejected we are a disgrace to the power of God and the power of the resurrection. It is a painful ordeal, but out of the pain of putting off the flesh comes a powerful relationship;