Summary: Getting God's battle strategy.
A. A COMMAND OF SEPARATION
“God told Joshua to make knives and circumcise the sons of those who had been slaves in Egypt (40 years ago). Their fathers died in the wilderness because of their unbelief and rebellion. Their sons had never been circumcised” (Josh. 5:2-9, Amplified).
1. It happened at Gilgal which means rolled away.
a. The river barrier was rolled away.
b. Their commitment to the flesh was rolled away, i.e., an outward sign of repentance.
2. Circumcision was a symbol of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 17).
3. A great statement of faith, i.e., the men were incapacitated for three days.
4. They were within sight of the Jericho fortification, and could not fight.
5. A view of the enemy will challenge you to greater faith.
6. They crossed the river to fight, but God marched them past the place of future battles, i.e., wait patiently.
7. Perhaps God was further “scaring” the enemy.
8. Perhaps your obedience will overcome the disobedience of previous generations.
B. RENEW RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
“While camping on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated the Passover. The next day they began eating unleavened bread and roasted grain harvested from the land. The next day the manna stopped and they ate from the crops of the land” (Josh. 5:10-12, ELT).
9. It was 40 years to the day when they ate the last Passover in Egypt, i.e., the night before they left. Remember God’s past victory.
10. Passover dealt with inner sins, circumcision with outer sins.
11. Down payment on God’s promise the next day. “They ate from the crops.”
12. Worship. Israel ate in view of Jericho. “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies” (Ps. 23:5).
13. Sometimes we must forget God’s past work and move on. “The manna ceased.”
14. Someone else planted the food they ate. “The old corn of the land” 95:1).
15. We will never see some works of God again. “The manna . . . was never seen again” (5:12).
C. MEETING GOD
“Joshua was on reconnaissance to plan his battle strategy against Jericho, when he saw a soldier with a drawn sword. Joshua asked, ‘friend or foe?’ ‘Neither’ he answered. ‘I am the Commander of the LORD’s army.’ Joshua fell on his face to the ground. ‘I am at your command. What do you want me to do?’ The LORD said, ‘Take off your sandals, you are standing on holy ground’” (Josh. 5:13-15).
16. When you think you are in danger, actually you may be in the presence of God. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee” (Ps. 56:3).
17. The Lord’s sword was drawn, ready for battle.
18. The secret to victory is not getting on God’s side, but getting Him on your side.
19. Worship is giving the worthship to God that belongs to Him.
20. Today we can enjoy the atmospheric presence of God. In the movie, Field of Dreams, 1989, Kevin Costner said, “If you build it they will come!” But the believer says, “If you worship the Father He will come.”