1 And when all the kings of the Amorites that were on the west side of Jordan, and all the kings of the Canaanites that were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan before the children of Israel until we crossed over, their hearts melted; there was no spirit in them any more because of the children of Israel. 2 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, Make knives of flint, and circumcise the children of Israel the second time. 3 And Joshua made sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. 4 This is the reason why Joshua circumcised: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. 5.Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came out of Egypt, they had not circumcised them.
- God’s wonders melt hearts.
- He dried us the Jordan River for His children to cross over.
- The wilderness is the place of unbelief.
- Though the people were saved from slavery, they didn’t believe God would bring them into the place of God’s great blessings.
- Circumcision was the sign of the covenant with the true and living God. God nearly took Moses’ life for not circumcising his sons (Exodus 4:24-26).
- God’s chosen people had disobeyed His instructions about circumcising their children for forty years. God is so patient.
- Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
God promised prosperity
6 For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the people that were men of war who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not obey the voice of the LORD: to whom the LORD swore that he would not show them the land, which the LORD swore to their fathers that he would give us, a land that flowed with milk and honey. 7 And their children, whom he raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised them: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way. 8 And when they had finished circumcising all the people, they stayed in their places in the camp, until they were whole.
- ‘Flowing with milk and honey’ is a way people spoke of prosperity in ancient times.
- God has greater blessings for those who believe today. He makes it easy. It is all by faith.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
9 And the LORD said to Joshua, This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. So the name of the place is called Gilgal/wheel to this day. 10 And the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho.
- God removes disgrace.
- The word ‘reproach’ means disgrace.
- Being slaves was a disgrace.
- Being homeless wanderers for forty years was a reproach.
- God has taken the disgrace or reproach of our sinfulness away in Jesus Christ and robed us in Christ and all His glory.
- He passed over our sins because of Christ.
- Exodus 12:13 And the blood will be a sign on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague will not be on you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
- 1 Corinthians 5:7 For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
11 And they ate of the old grain of the land on the next day after the passover, unleavened cakes, and toasted grain that very day. 12 And the manna stopped the next day after they had eaten of the old grain of the land; the children of Israel had no more manna; but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. 13 And it happened, when Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw, a man standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went to him and said to him, Are you for us, or for our adversaries? 14 And he said, No; but as captain of the army of the LORD I have now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, and said to him, What does my lord say to his servant? 15 And the captain of the LORD's army said to Joshua, Take your shoes off your feet; for the place where you stand is holy. And Joshua did so.
- Like Moses at the burning bush, God appeared to Joshua.
- God is the only one who is holy.
- God came as captain to lead their battles.
- He gave all the orders.
- He leads our battles.
- His presence is holy.
- His presence is available to all.
- God always desires our presence.
- He fights our battles for us but we also have a part.
- We must put on His full armor.
- I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Ephesians 6:12-18 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Therefore take unto you the whole armor of God so that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
God promises victory
1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the children of Israel: no one went out, and no one came in. 2 And the LORD said to Joshua, See, I have given into your hand Jericho, its king, and the mighty warriors. 3 You will surround the city, all men of war, and march around the city once. You will do this for six days. 4 And seven priests will carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark: and the seventh day you will surround the city seven times, and the priests will blow with the trumpets. 5 And when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people are to shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down under it, and the people will go up every man straight before him. 6 And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD. 7 And he said to the people, Go forward, march around the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD. 8 And it happened, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD followed them.
- If the Lord had not been faithful in destroying evil regularly, none of us would be here today.
- Evil is a devouring leprosy that consumes all.
- The Lord went with them.
- He led their battles.
9 And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. 10 And Joshua had commanded the people saying, Do not shout or make any noise with your voice, let no word proceed out of your mouth until the day I tell you to shout; then shout. 11 So the ark of the LORD surrounded the city, going around it once: and they came to the camp, and stayed in the camp. 12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 13 And seven priests carrying seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD going on and blowing with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rear guard came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. 14 And the second day they went around the city once, and returned into the camp: they did this for six days. 15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and surrounded the city the same way seven times: only on that day they surrounded the city seven times.
- The Ark of the Covenant was a picture of God and His salvation.
- These people received God’s message of salvation 13 times before the walls fell flat.
16 And it happened the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, Shout; for the LORD has given you the city. 17 And the city is doomed/cursed by the Lord to destruction, it, and all that are in it: only Rahab the harlot will live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 And you keep yourselves away from the things under the curse, so that you not make yourselves cursed, when you take of the cursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
- Demons accompany the idols that represent them.
- This city was steeped in idolatry and demonism.
- Everything there was under a curse.
- God warned them to keep from bringing that curse into His camp among His people.
19 But all the silver, gold, and articles of brass and iron are consecrated to the LORD: they will come into the treasury of the LORD. 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
- Metals could be cleansed by fire.
- This was like the firstfruits of their crops being dedicated to the Lord.
- It kept the people from disobedience by keeping God first.
- It kept them from greed and wrong motivation.
- Archaeologists have uncovered Jericho and concluded that because of the terrain it was impossible for the walls to fall the way God said they would. Therefore this was a miracle.
21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. 22 But Joshua had said to the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring the woman out here, and all that she has, as you swore to her. 23 And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had; and they brought out all her relatives, and placed them outside the camp of Israel.
- Rahab and her family were saved because she believed what God had said.
- She acted on her belief and hid the spies.
- Her act of faith is recorded with the great acts of faith in Hebrews 11:31.
- Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those that did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
- Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
24 And they burned the city with fire, and all that was in it: only the silver, the gold, and the articles of brass and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. 25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwells in Israel even to this day because she hid the messengers, that Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
- God rewards faith in mighty ways.
- This is not the end of God’s blessing of Rahab.
- We gain insight into the rest of her life from Matthew 1:5.
- She married Salmon who is the great, great, great, great etc. grandfather of Jesus Christ.
- She was blessed by God to be the great, great, great, etc grandmother of the humanity of our eternal King of Kings.
- God gave this same blessing to Tamar, a foreigner, in Genesis 38.
- All the human race was created in the image of God.
- God is not prejudiced and does not show favoritism.
26 And Joshua made them take an oath at that time saying, Cursed is the man before the LORD, that rises up and builds this city Jericho: he will lay the its foundation in his firstborn, and in his youngest son will he set up the gates of it. 27 Sothe LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was in all the land.
- God was with Joshua and made him famous.
- The curse is the two deaths of the sons of any man who rebuilt Jericho.
- His first would son die when the foundation was laid and his youngest son would die when the gates were set up.
- This happened in 929 BC. This tragedy would have been avoided if Hiel had believed the curse on Jericho.
- 1Kings 16:34 In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho: he laid its foundation in Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.
- 1 Corinthians 15:57 thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
God corrects His Nation
1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD burned against the children of Israel. 2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. 3 And they returned to Joshua, and said to him, Do not let all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and strike Ai; and do not make all the people labor there; for they are few. 4 So about three thousand men of the people went up: and they fled before the men of Ai. 5 And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men: for they chased them from before the gate to Shebarim, and struck them in the descent: therefore the hearts of the people melted, and became like water.
- God is angry at the ruin sin causes.
- One man’s sin cost Israel 36 lives that day.
- Sin does matter.
- He doesn’t fight for us when we have unconfessed sin in our lives.
- Habakkuk 1:13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and can not look on iniquity:
- Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
- Psalm 18:2 God is our strength.
6 And Joshua ripped his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, O Lord GOD, why have you brought this people over Jordan at all, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! 8 O Lord, what can I say, when Israel turns their backs before their enemies! 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and surround us, and cut off our name from the earth: and what will you do unto your great name? 10 And the LORD said to Joshua, Get up; why do you fall on your face like this? 11 Israel has sinned, they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them: for they have taken the cursed thing, stolen, and deceived, and have put it even among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies because they were cursed: I will not be with you any more unless you destroy the cursed from among you.
- In Joshua 6:17-21 God had given instructions about Jericho.
- The Israelites were to destroy everything because it was under God’s curse of death because of their deep idolatry.
- Someone disobeyed God and took some of things they found.
- ‘O Lord GOD’ brings to mind that GOD is the only self-existent being in creation.
- All things are sustained by Him.
- The word ‘Lord’ in this verse means controller.
- God is self-existent. He controls all things.
- Even Joshua was blaming God when it was man’s fault.
- God is infinitely great. Nothing is His fault. Even Job's suffering was instigated by Satan.
- Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
13 Up, sanctify the people and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for the LORD God of Israel says this, There is a cursed thing in the midst of you, O Israel: you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the cursed thing from among you. 14 In the morning you will be brought according to your tribes: and the tribe that the LORD takes will come according to its families; and the family that the LORD takes will come by households; and the household that the LORD takes will come man by man. 15 And he that is taken with the cursed thing will be burned with fire, he and all that he has: because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has committed wickedness in Israel. 16 So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken: 17 And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken: 18 And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.
- The high priest stood before the people in the holy garments, the breastplate had the names of the tribes of Israel on the twelve stones.
- A stone was on each shoulder of the breastplate, one for yes, one for no.
- As the persons came to stand before the high priest, the correct stone would light up.
- Our Maker knows all things. We will never get away with anything.
- He died to save us from the eternal consequences of our sin, but we will reap what we sow in this life (Galatians 6:7).
- He will bring on us the fruit of our doings so that we might learn the vastly better things that He has for us.
- Numbers 32:23 … be sure your sin will find you out.
19 And Joshua said to Achan, My son, I beg you, give glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession to him; and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me. 20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful robe of Shinar/Babylon, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
- Colossians 3:5 therefore put to death your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
- Psalm 148:13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. 23 And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them to Joshua, and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. 24 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his asses, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them to the valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.
- Notice that it was up to the nation to execute Achan and his family.
- God had the Israelites put away from themselves the cursed thing.
- It is up to us to put the sin out of our lives.
- This doesn’t mean that Achan lost his salvation.
- King Saul, after many years of disobeying God, went to be with Samuel, God’s tirelessly faithful servant, at his death (1 Samuel 28:18, 19).
- If we disobey God we fail to walk His good works, but God isn’t an Indian giver.
- He doesn’t take away salvation.
- However, in His fairness, rewards will be lost.
- I John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…(This is fact. This is what God requires. Salvation is a gift.)
- 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work will be shown: for the day will declare it, it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work remains which he has built on, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man's work is burned, he will suffer loss: but he himself will be saved; yet so as by fire.
God turned from the fierceness of His anger
26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. So the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor/trouble, to this day.
- Hebrews 13:5 Let your behavior be without covetousness; and be content with the things you have: for he has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
SUMMARY: Joshua 5-7
- God makes a way when there is no way
- God promises prosperity
- God promises victory
- He is with us
- The LORD corrects His nation
- He turned from the fierceness of His anger
- He delivers the victory into our hands