The events of this chapter surprised me. Joshua and Israel are on a military campaign to conquer the Promised Land. Militarily they have just participated in a miraculous invasion of the land. The people of the land are fearful, from a human vantage point now would have been the time to strike, while the people were fearful.
But, no, Joshua stops the advance to circumcise the people. Why they didn’t circumcise the boys as they were born along the way I do not know. Understanding the importance of circumcision, Joshua put his people in an utterly defenseless situation until the men of fighting age could heal! Had the people of the land attacked Israel in the days after the mass circumcision was performed, Israel may have been destroyed!
For Joshua, faithfulness was more important than tactical advantage. Why? Because God was fighting for them. The victories, Joshua understood, was not about Israel’s strength or genius. Victories would come because the LORD fought for them and through them! Faithfulness was a prerequisite!
Then after people are healed from their surgery, Joshua calls for the Passover! That must have been some Passover. Not only were they commemorating the Passover deliverance from Egypt but remembering all the exploits of the Lord to save them like:
· Being spared the plagues and the death of the first born
· Receiving the plunder of their neighbors
· Passing through the Red Sea
· 40-years of survival in the desert
Additionally they have just passed through the Jordan River, just like their fathers passed through the Red Sea! Talk about a moment ripe for worship and remembrance!
Only after the obedience of circumcision and the worship of celebrating the Passover does God reveal his presence to Joshua.
Obedience and worship. Those words jump off the page at me.
Obedience and worship… they are at the very heart of our faith in God.
How am I doing with my obedience and worship? And so I sit, quietly with the Lord… listening for His voice, encouragement, correction… His love.
Lord, thank You that You are with me… guiding me, and showing me the way to maturity and service. Through Jesus, I pray. Amen.