April 5

April 5

Joshua & the Commander — The commander of the Lord appears, & Jesus is worthy of worship.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Joshua 5

Reading 2: Exodus 23:20-23

Reading 3: Revelation 22:8-9

Breakthrough leads to worship and purity, frightens the enemy, and invites God’s presence. After the breakthrough of the Jordan crossing, Joshua and the Israelites start preparing to worship God by observing the Passover, and to do so they have to circumcise all the men who have grown up in the wilderness years without being circumcised. (There is some disagreement among scholars about the correct translation of that verse – whether it means none of the men were circumcised, which seems highly unlikely, or whether it means that all of the men who were previously uncircumcised were now circumcised). Either meaning would bring an increase of ceremonial purity to the nation, and that came as a result of the miraculous crossing of the Jordan. In the same way, breakthroughs in our lives can lead us to seasons where purity and holiness are more prominent in our experience.

The enemies in the cities of the land quickly hear about God’s miraculous presence with the Israelites, and they are filled with fear. But the Israelites do not fall prey to presumption on this occasion, perhaps because they are delayed by the healing process after the purification. And the Angel of the Lord, whom God had promised would accompany them on the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, appears to Joshua in human form. Joshua (good commander that he is) thinks in military terms: “friend or foe?” but receives the reply “Neither” because God’s army is commanded at God’s instruction and for God’s purposes. Whether His warriors are friend or foe depends on our perspective on God’s instructions. If we put God first, His instructions are welcome and His armies are friendly. If we choose the opposite path, putting our own agenda before God’s, we might just find we have made a new enemy!

Living as a friend of God today, you will find that He has already provided all you need, just as He did for Israel as soon as they set foot in the Land.

Have a great day!

Mark.