Friday, September 23, 2011

Joshua 3-5- September 22, 2011

RED SEA RULES by Robert J. Morgan
1.     Realize that God means for you to be where you are.
2.     Be more concerned for God’s glory than for your relief.
3.     Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.
4.     Pray!
5.     Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work.
6.     When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith.
7.     Envision God’s enveloping presence.
8.     Trust God to deliver in His own unique way.
9.     View your current crisis as a faith builder for the future.
10.  Don’t forget to praise Him.
Thank you to Lillian Hambrick, one of our Core Leaders, who shared The Red Sea Rules with me. Comparing the parting of the Red Sea and the Jordan River has been interesting.PRAYER
God used a mighty Miracle to bring His people into a land flowing with milk and honey. Two Memorials were erected for a reminder to Israel and future generations and surrounding nations. He renewed the Covenant through circumcision which physically and spiritually Marks Israel as His people. 
Ladies please turn in your Bibles to Joshua.  I will be referring to chapters 3-5.
The Ark was very sacred; the people must keep a distance of about a thousand yards behind it and; never touch it. The Ark would be the only manifestation of God's physical presence on earth. The priests sprinkled blood on the mercy seat for the sins of the people. This is a foreshadowing of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross.
The Ark of the Covenant was in the very heart of Israel's camp for 40 years during the wilderness march. The twelve tribes camped about the ark. It was the very center. Now the Ark is to go before the people, to lead them where they have never been before. The ark is mention 16 times in ch.3-4 of Joshua (Ark of the Covenant 10 times, ark of the Lord 3 times, simply the ark 3 times.)
Joshua 3:3 When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. PICTURE OF ARK
An interesting thing I found in Deuteronomy 31:26 24 After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, 25 he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD: 26 “Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you.
Joshua 3:5 Joshua instructs the people, “Consecrate yourselves,” Exodus 19:10 statesGo to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes.”
Washing your body and changing clothes symbolized making a new beginning with the Lord.  The Lord God of Israel is holy and deserved honor and respect. Other examples in the Bible:  Jacob returning to Bethel Gen. 35:1-5 and King David’s confession before God 2 Sam.12:20
The rest of verse 5Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”
God had brought them through the Red Sea, pretty amazing. They were provided manna and quail and water for forty years in the desert. Their sandals and clothes lasted for forty years. All of that is so amazing, what more would it take to impress the people.
Joshua 3: 7 And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8 Tell the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”
During most of the year the Jordan River is about 100 Feet wide, but in the spring time when it overflows its banks it became a mile wide. What a display of God’s power!
Joshua 3:15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam, while the water flowing down to the (the Salt Sea[b]) was completely cut off.
Warren Weirsbe believes that is about a 20 miles walkway for the million Israelites to cross.
  •   Jordan River in Flood stage
  •   About 1 million people to cross
  •   Waters backed up 20 miles to Adam 
  • Yabbashah- Hebrew for dry ground
The priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant literally had to step into the Jordan River when it was at flood stage getting their feet wet before the River would stop flowing.
Exodus 14: 21 tells us: Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.
This miracle was even more amazing than the Red Sea. Warren Weirsbe states “This time it was not the obedient arm of a leader that brought the miracle but the obedient feet of the people.”
The Hebrew word for dry land or dry ground is yabbashah. Patti Prieb’s husband contributed this little nugget. There are only 12-14 times this word is used in the entire Bible, depending on the Version.
      Creation:  Genesis 1:9, 10 separating water from dry land.
      Noah:  Genesis 8:13 days after the ark landed he had to wait for the ground to dry up
      Red Sea: Exodus 14:16, When the LORD to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.
      Jordan River: Joshua 4: tell your children 22 ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’
      Jonah 2:10   And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Various retelling of the above stories in Nehemiah, Psalms, and Isaiah.
  Your new word for the day- Yabbashah.
  •   To encourage Israel
  •   To be a sign for their children
  •   To be a testimony to other nations
Joshua 4: the LORD said to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”
Now ladies, these are not little pebbles you pick up for a memory stone. These must have been huge boulders to build a Memorial with just 12 stones. The carried them 2 ½ miles from the Jordan to Gilgal.
 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 fathers, ‘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 just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.

Washington, DC is a city of monuments and memorials. We honor the presidents, generals and statesmen who helped shape our great nation. A “Photo Tour” of Washington, DC. Highlights 15 memorials, several that I missed on my actual visit. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in a wheel chair with his little terrier and the Korean War Memorial- Nineteen stainless steel sculptures looked like men walking in rain capes some emerging from the woods.
The Vietnam Memorial is probably one of the most visited. This photo is actually of a painting by Lee Teter called “Vietnam Reflections”. Look closely in the reflection of the wall to see images fallen comrades reaching out to comfort a grief stricken man.
Do you have any memorials to share with future generation?  Ladies are you sharing Christ with your friends and family. What will your children and grandchildren share about you after you have gone to be with Jesus?
Several years ago my first attempt at Stamping, was at the home Linda Deaton. A group of ladies used a simple notebook to make a book of Blessings. Now I still use my Journal to jot down prayer requests and occasionally to record the answers to those prayers. There is a stack of prayer journal from years ago when my kids were teenagers. Hopefully when I die, these will be rescued from the yard sale. Maybe my children will have a chance to read the prayers my Little Group said over them. Perhaps my grandchildren will learn to love God through the remembrances of my life.
4: 9 Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing, and they are there to this day. NASV
Weirsbe tells us, When the Jewish children ask about the memorial stones at Gilgal. Perhaps their parents will add “there is another memorial where Joshua piled up stones in the middle of the Jordan.”  Even though they cannot be seen, children would accept this fact by faith. It symbolized the burial of their old life. As the crossed the river they became citizens of Palestine, a new life of obedience to the Lord.  Faith is hope in things not seen.   
What a picture of baptism in Rom. 6:2-6, The
Message by Eugene Peterson explains it so well.
If we've left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn't you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!  3-5That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country.
Memorials so other nations might know-Joshua 4:24 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.”
Rahab had already testified that those in Jericho had heard of the miracles of the Red Sea. Jane Anderson tells that in her trip to the Holy Land she visited Jericho. Her belief is that the people high on the walls of Jericho may have been able to see the Jordan.
God used the Miracle of the Jordan for a testimony for Israel, a memorial for their children and a reminder to other nations of His power.
Psalm 78
 4 We will not hide them from their children;
   we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
   his power, and the wonders he has done. 

Here is a photo of my grandson Brayden. He is reading the meaning for one of the Chrismon ornament the ladies of my church made to decorate for Christmas.
  •   Renewed Covenant
  •   Circumcision
  •   Passover Meal
  •   No more Manna
 Joshua 5:1 Now when all the Amorite kings and all the Canaanite kings heard how the LORD had dried up the Jordan, their hearts melted and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.
Do you wonder why this verse precedes the circumcision of ALL the men?  This is how the LORD protected the people while the men were healing until they were able to defend themselves.
5:2-8 the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.”  The men of military age when they left Egypt had died during the 40 years in the desert. They had refused to fight to possess the land flowing with milk and honey, except for Caleb and Joshua. The Lord raised up their sons in their place. They had not been circumcised on the way.
 Weirsbe states “in spirit and reality the Children of Israel had not kept the rite of circumcision, the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. During that time God  suspended His covenant relationship with that rebellious group. He continued to preform miracles and met their needs, but they were temporarily not His covenant people.”
Deuteronomy  10:  12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?  15…he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.
Joshua 5: 9 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.  Word means a rolling.
Deuteronomy 30:6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. For the generations to come you are to commemorate and celebrate PASSOVER as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance.
Exodus 12: 25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’”
Uncircumcised men could not participate in the Passover.
Joshua5:10 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[c] they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan.
God used a mighty Miracle to bring His people Israel a land flowing with milk and honey. A Memorial was erected for a reminder to all. He renewed the Covenant through circumcision which physically and spiritually Marks Israel as His people. 
 Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature,[b] God made you[c] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
As Christians, we have the circumcision of the heart done by Christ and a promise from God to be heirs with Christ. If you want to claim your inheritance, Ladies, you might have to get your feet wet.
Commander of the Lords Army
  •   “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
  •   Joshua fell facedown
  •  Theophany
  •  Holy Ground
Can it get any better for Joshua? (BTW He was already circumcised!)  As Joshua looks toward Jericho perhaps pondering the strategy he meets a messenger from God.
Joshua 5: 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 facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord[h] have for his servant?” 
Since Joshua fell on his face before the visitor we must believe that he is not an angel. In the commentary that you will read later about “the theophany” defined as a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Further justified by the next verse.
 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.  This is another affirmation that the Lord had chosen Joshua, just as he had chosen Moses.
Would you choose today to find meaningful ways to testify to God’s presence and power in your life?  PRAY