Summary: We will explore the providence of God as found in 5 events in the 5th Chapter of Joshua.
Text: Joshua 5:1-15
Title: “The Providence of God”
• God’s providence in 5 events:
I. Crossing of the Jordan (1)
• Obviously one of the reasons God held back the waters of the Jordan was to get the children of Israel from point A to point B.
• God was also using this as psychological warfare to soften the enemy before Israel had even begun to fight.
o God also was working through other nations to accomplish this purpose and prepare the way for His children.
o After Israel had left Egypt there was a shortage of forced labor.
o So while Israel wondered the wilderness for 40 years Egypt was going into Palestine and capturing various Canaanite peoples and taking them back to Egypt to fill the void left by the Israelites.
• The truth we see here is that God is always working on multiple levels when He is dealing with us.
o It goes beyond just being about us to being about others also.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
II. Circumcision of the Men of War (2-9)
• This was an external mark of God’s covenant promise that by faith they trusted that God was going to remove their sin, and that all the nations of the world would be blessed through the seed of Abraham, that is God’s Son Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:6-8 -- 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”
John 8:56 -- 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
• Also in doing this it was forcing the Israelites to trust God even more.
o Vs. 8 On the eve of the big battle all the men of war were out of commission until they healed.
o God often must get the human element out of the way so that He will get the glory.
III. Observance of Passover (10)
• Passover was a time to celebrate and remember how God had passed over the children of Israel when all the firstborn died in the land of Egypt.
o How God used that to break Pharaoh, leading to the release of His children from bondage.
• Also consider the timing of the event.
o God brought them across the Jordan just in time to celebrate the memorial of the promise just as He was fulfilling the promise.
o Also consider this from a military stand point: they shocked the Canaanites by crossing the flooded Jordan River. Instead of attacking while the enemy was unprepared they circumcise all the men and then sit down and have a big ole’ party.
• God is teaching us that it is better to be obedient to God than to follow what seems to be prudent in our own eyes.
o David said obedience is better than sacrifice.
IV. Ceasing of Manna (11-12)
• Manna – that supernatural bread from Heaven that God had sent to sustain His people in the wilderness was now being cut off.
o It had served its purpose, but now it was time for them to enjoy the fullness of God’s promise.
o “a land flowing with milk and honey.”
o For them to keep eating manna even after they entered the Promised Land would be a hindrance keeping them from enjoying the real thing.
Galatians 4:9 -- 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
o Now that we have received Christ why would we continue only to look at those things that were a picture of Him?
V. Sending of the Captain of God’s Army (13-15)
Focus on 2 things specifically:
1. Who He is.
2. What He says.
• Who He is:
o He is not an angel: 1. Joshua worships Him. 2. The place where He stood was holy ground.
o This is either a theophany (appearance of God in human form) or a Christophany (an appearance of the preincarnate Jesus Christ).
o Similar to other OT appearances of God.
o Genesis 18:1-2, 13, 17
Matthew 26:53 -- 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?
• What He says: