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for the glory of God

5 May 2020

Proverbs 10:13

Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,
    but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.

A high school principal noted that he had students who could not figure out why teachers were hard on them. They concluded that the teachers just had it in for them for no particular reason, unless it was because they did not try to be favorites like those students who were clearly the teachers’ pets. These “oppressed” students lacked sense. They could not make the connection between their poor behavior and lazy work habits and the way their teachers regarded them. He would try to explain how the teachers probably were harder on them than the others because of their (the students’) attitude and behavior. But no, they couldn’t believe that would be the real reason.

How refreshing is the person with understanding. Instead of the nonsensical thought pattern of the fool, clear commonsense wisdom comes forth. It is such a delight to be around the person who is able to cut through ambiguity and faulty reasoning and speak wisdom. How refreshing then was Jesus in cutting through the stilted, foggy reasoning of the scribes and Pharisees and getting to the real truth of biblical principles and commands. Why don’t you turn to the gospels and read a passage of his teaching? Delight in the pure wisdom and the one man with perfect understanding.

 

Joshua 4-5

4 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.’

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, ‘Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, “What do these stones mean?” tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel for ever.’

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.

10 Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over, 11 and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched. 12 The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them. 13 About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.

14 That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.

15 Then the Lord said to Joshua, 16 ‘Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant law to come up out of the Jordan.’

17 So Joshua commanded the priests, ‘Come up out of the Jordan.’

18 And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran in flood as before.

19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, ‘In the future when your descendants ask their parents, “What do these stones mean?” 22 tell them, “Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.” 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.’

5 Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.

 

Circumcision and passover at Gilgal

At that time the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.’ So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth.

Now this is why he did so: all those who came out of Egypt – all the men of military age – died in the wilderness on the way after leaving Egypt. All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness during the journey from Egypt had not. The Israelites had moved about in the wilderness for forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the Lord. For the Lord had sworn to them that they would not see the land that he had solemnly promised their ancestors to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. So he raised up their sons in their place, and these were the ones Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised on the way. And after the whole nation had been circumcised, they remained where they were in camp until they were healed.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.’ So the place has been called Gilgal to this day.

10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.

 

The fall of Jericho

13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’

14 ‘Neither,’ he replied, ‘but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence, and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’

15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.