God Always Has A Joshua (Part 1)

Read: “Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in.” Joshua 6:1.

This chapter of Joshua was part of my devotions recently. As I read this first verse of chapter 6, I immediately thought of the situation that most of us face, and that is being “shut-in.”

Jericho quarantines in fear

Here was a whole city that was, in a sense, under a total “quarantine.” However, the reasons were somewhat different than what many of us are facing today.

True, there are some similarities. In the book of Joshua, there is a fatal consequence if anyone leaves this walled, fortress-like city. For those of us who are “shut-in,” there is the possibility of some fatalities, especially to those of us who are “seasoned, senior saints.”

For us, there is also a fear associated with this “confinement,” but totally different than what the inhabitants of Jericho faced. Our fear is more related to being wise about this situation, rather than foolish.

Ultimately, we surrender our fear to faith in our heavenly Father, that whether we live or die, we are always in His hands. He is the only One that knows if and when our time of departure from this planet may occur.

God promises Israel victory

The inhabitants of Jericho were facing annihilation from a fierce army whose God had already granted their army a total victory.

Can you imagine the suspense and fearful expectation that faced the people of Jericho as they saw this army marching toward their city?

We know from early chapters that at least 40,000 armed men were advancing on Jericho. The king knew that some spies had stealthily crept into the city and left after their recognizance was accomplished. And now the waiting had begun.

Preparing for the battle

But before we get to the actual battle, we need to observe the divine instructions that God gives Joshua for an assured victory.

The first thing God does is to prepare those who will do battle. All of the men who were born in the wilderness had not known of the covenant of circumcision that God had given the Israelites through the promise that was made to Abraham. The ones who had known had perished in the 40-year journey. And so now, God re-institutes this covenant with these instructions to Joshua.
Joshua 5:3-5, “So Joshua made himself flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth. This is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, died in the wilderness along the way after they came out of Egypt. For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised.”
For whatever reason, the Lord wanted the Israelites to again identify with the promises given to Abraham, and also Moses. While the men are healing, the whole nation observes the Passover. God desired that those who were going into battle had their hearts and bodies prepared for what was about to happen.

God prepares Joshua

God had promised Joshua total victory, and on the eve of the capture and destruction of the city of Jericho, something else significant happens.

Joshua 5:13-15, “Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, ’Are you for us or for our adversaries?’ He said, ‘No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, ‘What has my lord to say to his servant?’ The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, ‘Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.”

I mention these things because I want to emphasize that when God raises up a leader like Joshua, or a “lead pastor,” there is always a call, a commission, and preparation in the heart of the one who is to lead the people of God.

The Lord can create a “work,” an assembly of the people of God, at any time. But the shaping and making of a leader is a lifetime journey.

God’s faithfulness will shape and mold those who lead so that they will be conformed to the image of Christ! Our responsibility as those who are to be led and shepherded is to trust God regarding those He gives to lead us.

I’ll end with a quote from Jeremiah 3:15: “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.”

Lord willing, next time we’ll get to the actual “battle strategy” that God has for the first city to be conquered.

Blessings and prayers,
Pastor Gene

1 Comment

Jud Moore - April 8th, 2020 at 10:05am

Thanks Pastor Gene for your messages. You make things clear and understanding. God Bless.

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