The Warfare that builds the holiness (Joshua 5:1-15)
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.
4Now 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. 5All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness during the journey from Egypt had not. 6The 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. 7So 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. 8And after the whole nation had been circumcised, they remained where they were in camp until they were healed.
10On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12The manna stopped the day afterd 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.
13Now 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 Lorde have for his servant?”
15The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
After Israel walked across the Jordan River, they needed the holiness before God. Why? Because the power that overcome the kings of Canaan in the center of the city, Jericho should be depended upon the holiness. To both Moses and Joshua the Lord required the holiness before God and on the holy land. So they should take off their sandals at the holy land. After Joshua and his people crossed the Jordan River, theythemselves should be prepared by holiness for the future warfare.
How could they become holy?
First, by receiving the circumcision, as the mark of the first covenant, they become holy.
Holiness is not to add some things but to keep the essential relationship of salvation faithfully.
Holiness begins with foundation of God’s grace. Without holiness no grace, because holiness belongs to only God. So The word of God teaches that you must be holy as God is holy. This word includes the promise that only God can make them to be holy. God is the purpose of holiness as well as the means of holiness. So God needed their holiness in their whole lives for his holy warfare, holy land, holy system and holy purpose. So God commanded to Israel to take circumcision before they started to fight with the Canaanite tribes.
What is the circumcision? It is the sign of covenant of God’s people. Also it is a symbolism that points holiness in Christ. It reveals the meaning of the bapism in the new covenant. Of course, the baptism points to the baptism of Holy Spirit that is expressed on the baptism of the water. When we read the passage of baptism in Matthew 28:18-20, I Corinthian 12:14 and Rom 6:6, first of all we have to understand the meaning of the baptism of Holy Spirit. Without the baptism of Hoy Spirit any symbolism shall not take any meaningfulness. Actually the circumcision was very important in Israel, the church of the wilderness or, the church of Canaan in order to be holy.
In our ministry to keep holy is foundation for our complete salvation, So Paul stressed that offer your body(the whole life) to the God as living sacrifice. And Rome 6:6 commands, Offer yourself to the Lord as the weapon of righteousness.”
Why? Because now we serve holy ministry, holy works, holy mission field and holy war and holy method, we have to live holily. How about our school life? Is this the secular work? No, it is the holy work. So we should devote ourselves to it as living sacrifice. Unless we offer our whole things to this thing we can not know the truth and he may fall down into the more serious seat. So our school emphasizes the godly life in studying and ministry.
My beloved student, Did you have the stigma of circumcision in your life? What is your proof? It is the total devotion to the Lord. Then we can overcome against all enemies and build the kingdom of God in the world. This is the reality to enjoy the millennium grace in the world.
Concentrate on the godly time in your personal life. in our life many stumbling block attacks to us. However we have to sustain to keep devotional time. Then we are powerful in the world as a lion.
Second, by eating the fruit of victory, they become holy.
The descending manna was stopped as they ate the fruit of victory through their spiritual war. After they entered into canaan, they did not need manna and trail eggs. Because they tasted reality of Canaan’s blessing. What is it? It is the presence of God in the actual life. Although they did not the supernatural foods they ate the food in Canaan. In fact it is the best miraculous food in our lives.
What are the victorious fruit in Canaan? We have to escape out of symbolism into the reality. In a word, it is the presence of God. Immanuel.
In the New Testament we know the grace that God provided to us. Those are, forgiveness, power, purpose and peace. This is the real honey and real milk in Christ. Now we enjoy the wonderful grace in Christ. We have to stand firm on the foundation and should enjoy the real grace in our lives, the grace of gospel, the unspeakable joy. This is the gospel of Christ.
So our Lord Jesus Christ exhorts us “Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”(Mt 9:17) “ Do you know this meaning in your life? The new age needs new means and new styles. It is the reality of Canaan.
Then we can be holy. We can prepare to fight to our enemies.
We should get the renewal power through the present victory of their situation. Moment victory
Third, when we pursue the chief of military, Christ, we can get the victory of holiness.
Occupying Canaan was accomplished by pursuing the Lord because Christ is the holiness of our lives. I Corinthian 1:30 says “And because of hime you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption. At the other time I had thought that the commander of military points the pre-incarnated Christ. Today we lives in his dominion. When he ruled over us it is holiness. What is our works in Him in order to be holy? Only we should abide in him. It means to live in him by intimacy with him by praying and obeying the word of God.
How could we do to be holy in our lives? In a word, we have to offer our body to the Lord as living sacrifice.(Rom12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,a by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.b2Do not be conformed to this world,c but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.d)
It points to offer our whole things, those are; emotion, intellect, and volition and also our all character, all power and all talent as a animal slayed by a priest. Then our Lord can receive the burnt offering actually as a spiritual aroma. Then the Lord works in us for his glory. Before we offered our whole things to him, nothing shall be accomplished for his holiness.
1) Circumcision, Eating Canaanite foods, and following the commander, Jesus Christ shall make us to become holy life in our lives. Already we abide in the real meaning of circumcision and enjoy the real abundant food and to obey our Lord Jesus in our daily life.
2) My Beloved Student, In our school life, we have to try to be holy, godly life by offering my whole body as living sacrifice to the Lord. May the grace of the Lord be with you all today.