DayBreaks for 10/14/14 – Faith Walking #2
There is a very strange passage that is interspersed between the entry into the Promised Land and the attack on Jericho. It is recorded in Joshua 5:1-9. If you recall, way back in the time of Abraham, God had given to Abraham and his descendants the sign of the covenant, circumcision. For a long time the ceremony seems to have been observed, but sometime while Israel was in Egypt, it seems that the practice was largely lost.
As Israel left Egypt in the exodus, we are told that the people who grew up in the wilderness after their elders had died had not been circumcised. And now, mere days before attacking Jericho, God tells Joshua that it is time to have all the men circumcised.
What?!?!?!?! These men are going to have to go into battle! They will need to be nimble and quick, agile. They were camped probably no more than 4-5 miles from the enemy would not have made the Israelites feel comfortable. If they followed God’s direction to Joshua and the enemy decided to come out and attack, Israel would be easily defeated and destroyed. Before they engaged in their first battle in the Promised Land, what would they do? Would they listen to God or to their own common sense?
This was a leap of faith. Why did God choose this time and place when it could have been done right after Moses died (or even before)?
Our faith walk doesn’t require us to exercise faith in total blindness, but it invites us to look backwards to God’s promises – and even more, to his faithfulness to keep his promises. God had promised to give this land to their ancestors. And he had given them this particular sign of that promise. By asking them to take this step, God was reminding them of the promise he’d made long ago, but also to trust him at this moment and in this instance by renewing the sign of the covenant again on their part – to trust that even as they acted in faith, God would not fail to keep his promise.
Is God asking you to do something that is terrifying to you? Something that makes no sense at all? What promise of his can you claim that will help you as you face your choice about whether to walk in faith or not?
PRAYER: Lord, your ways sure don’t make much sense to us sometimes. We look at what you ask and it seems absolutely looney to our human mind and thinking. When we are faced with a decision on whether or not to walk in faith, let us look at your track record…and begin to walk! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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