Renewed Commitment (Joshua 5:1-12)
Topic: Joshua Scripture: Joshua 5:1–5:12
First Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 5:6-21; Matthew 22:34-40
Second Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24 - 10:13
Sermon Text: Joshua 5:1-12
If you have ever been on a long road trip, you know how it feels to finally see the road sign that indicates you have arrived at your destination. For Israel, that sign came with crossing the Jordan River. Their road trip out of Egypt took 40 years, and many from the first generation perished along the way because of unbelief (Numbers 14:34-35). Yet God remained faithful to his promises to Abraham by bringing a remnant into the Promised Land. By doing this he “rolled away their reproach” and revealed his covenant faithfulness to his people.
1. Before you begin to consider the book of Joshua, take a moment to reflect on the importance of Jesus’ ascension as it is explained in Westminster Larger Catechism Q/A 53:
How was Christ exalted in his ascension?
Christ was exalted in his ascension, in that having after his resurrection often appeared to and conversed with his apostles, speaking to them of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God, and giving them commission to preach the gospel to all nations, forty days after his resurrection, he, in our nature, and as our head, triumphing over enemies, visibly went up into the highest heavens, there to receive gifts for men, to raise up our affections to that place, and to prepare a place for us, where he is now, and shall continue till his Second Coming at the end of the world.
2. For review, skim Joshua chapters 1-4 and think about the main events that are recorded. What was God teaching the second generation of Israelites through these events as they prepared to enter the Promised Land?
3. Read Joshua 5:1. Why were the Canaanites so fearful of Israel? How does this verse connect with what Rahab said in Joshua 2:8-11? What did God intend by his mighty acts according to Joshua 4:23-24?
4. Read Joshua 5:2-9. Why did God command the second generation of Israel’s men to be circumcised before entering the Promised Land? How did this “roll away the reproach of Egypt” from Israel?
5. What are some other instances in the Bible that reveal how God preserves a remnant of true believers even in the midst of great sin and opposition? How is this encouraging for us today?
6. Read Joshua 5:10-12. What do these verses reveal about God’s faithfulness to his people? What do you learn about this for your own life?
7. In preparation for next week, read Joshua 5:13 - 6:27. What do you think is the significance of Joshua’s encounter with the commander of the Lord’s army? Why do you think God commanded Israel to conquer Jericho using such a strange battle plan?