An End to the Exodus
God, prompt me if there is anything in my life that is overdue and help me to do it.
Read Joshua 5:1-12
 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.  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 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 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.  On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover.  The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain.  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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectFear prompted by the miracle at the Jordan gives Israel some breathing space from their enemies, and time to get right spiritually. The first priority for Israel is to restore right worship and obedience to the covenant.
In the wilderness, circumcision hadn’t been practiced. Yet the land of promise was to be given (and held) on the basis of keeping the covenant (Deuteronomy 8:6–14,19–20). Joshua is commanded to deal with this offence against God’s Law. I’m guessing it wasn’t a popular call, but circumcision was the sign of loyalty to the covenant, and all were required to honor the Lord in this, however painful.After they have healed up, God’s people celebrate Passover, the feast that enacts in memory the Exodus from Egypt. Once they have eaten for the first time something of the produce of the Promised Land (11,12), the manna provided in the wilderness stops. In the Promised Land, with right obedience to the Law and keeping of the Passover, both the exodus and the wilderness years have come to an end. There must have been great joy at the end of one era and the beginning of another.
Getting worship right means showing reverence through right worship and right living. Examine your own life.
God, You are the hope of my life. Even when I go off course, I can trust You.
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