Summary: Before Joshua can go into battle the Lord has to cut away the flesh, provide new life, new food, and show who the real boss is. Before we can have victory in Christ we must go through the same thing.
It was December of 1980. I found myself freshly graduated from college; a bachelor’s degree tucked under my arm and the world before me. I felt prepared and ready to face the challenges of the world after enduring my four years of college midterms and finals.
The Lord led me to my first job in an interesting way, and I soon found myself moving from my home state of California to Oregon and a city called Medford, to work as a TV reporter for KTVL-TV.
I was confident and ready for any assignment, or so I thought. Let’s just say that my introduction to my new career was anything but easy. I remember my first weekend working as a reporter with a new thing called video tape. For some reason the editing machine wasn’t operating correctly, but how was I to know that? Every time I went to make an edit, the machine would back up 5 seconds before my edit point and mess everything up. I was so late with my story that the anchor had to actually apologize on the air saying "I promise, Tom Fuller actually exists and his story is coming!" I was mortified and that was but the first of many lessons I learned in becoming a "real" reporter.
For us as Christians sometimes we get saved, or spend some time as a believer and feel we are ready to face any challenge. We have salvation tucked under our arm and a Bible to boot and "look out Satan ’cause here I come!" Then we set out to do "great things for God" and end up falling flat on our faces. We can just imagine the angels kind of chuckling and apologizing for our ineptitude.
So what happens? We try to do things in the spirit, while still acting in and relying on the flesh. Joshua faces the same thing as he brings the children of Israel across the Jordan and now faces their first adversary: Jericho. Before God can use them, He has to break them, feed them, and show them who is really in control. We too learn valuable lessons in beginning a life of victory in Christ.
When God moves, the enemy cowers. It wasn’t the Israelis that scared the kings of Canaan, it was God did for them. Our enemy is not afraid of you, he is afraid of what God can do through you. But we need to realize that although the enemy, the flesh, and the world put up a good looking front, inside they cower with fear. It helps to know that when you face them on the battlefield of your life.
Verses 2 - 9
Why had they not circumcised the next generation? Perhaps out of fear or neglect. We also found that in Moses’ case in Exodus 4. On his way back to Egypt to rescue the Israelites from Pharaoh, God was going to kill Moses unless he circumcised his boys. Now here, as Israel moves out to take the Promised Land, God will not let them move forward unless they are circumcised.
Circumcision was a sign, a mark that someone belonged to Yahweh. The New Testament counterpart is baptism.
Colossians 2:11-12 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism , in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.