Joshua Generation - Part 6

joshua generation

Joshua Generation: Circumcision

Pastor Rollan Fisher

Making Preparation to Take the City

  • The Cut

  • The Covenant

  • The Commander of the Army of the Lord

The Cut

Before you can help a city, you have to be positively different from those who find themselves trapped within.

As soon as all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the people of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel. At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the sons of Israel a second time.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth. And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the males of the people who came out of Egypt, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way after they had come out of Egypt. Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised. For the people of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord; the Lord swore to them that he would not let them see the land that the Lord had sworn to their fathers to give to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. So it was their children, whom he raised up in their place, that Joshua circumcised. For they were uncircumcised, because they had not been circumcised on the way. When the circumcising of the whole nation was finished, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.

-Joshua 5:1-9

  • What does the reproach of Egypt look like?

  • My identity is not my achievements

  • I will not sacrifice my mental health for some perceived level of success

Midland and Odessa, Texas, El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio shootings - our hearts break for and we pray for those affected.

An apologist gave a social commentary:

In the 1950s kids lost their innocence.

They were liberated from their parents by well-paying jobs, cars, and lyrics in music that gave rise to a new term ---the generation gap.

In the 1960s, kids lost their authority.

It was a decade of protest---church, state, and parents were all called into question and found wanting. Their authority was rejected, yet nothing ever replaced it.
In the 1970s, kids lost their love.

It was the decade of me-ism dominated by hyphenated words beginning with self. Self-image, Self-esteem, Self-assertion....It made for a lonely world. Kids learned everything there was to know about sex and forgot everything there was to know about love, and no one had the nerve to tell them there was a difference.

In the 1980s, kids lost their hope.

Stripped of innocence, authority and love and plagued by the horror of a nuclear nightmare, large and growing numbers of this generation stopped believing in the future.

In the 1990s kids lost their power to reason.

Less and less were they taught the very basics of language, truth, and logic and they grew up with the irrationality of a postmodern world.

In the new millennium, kids woke up and found out that somewhere in the midst of all this change, they had lost their imagination.

Violence and perversion entertained them till none could talk of killing innocents since none was innocent anymore.”

-Ravi Zacharias, Recapture the Wonder

Grown men getting circumcised vs. getting circumcised on the eighth day:

We resist circumcision because we think too much of ourselves. We are not open to others’ input. Not everyone should have input, but we should be open to everyone if the Lord is speaking (Psalm 141:5; the donkey with Balaam Numbers 22:21-33).

Stop thinking more highly of yourself than you ought. Plant yourself in a place so that issues can be dealt with in your heart, and commit to building with a people for the long term to take the land.

This circumcision is why people must get baptized. It is the outward sign of the inward covenant with God.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

-Colossians 2:8-15

After circumcision, there’s a time of healing before the conquest. Why is circumcision so important? Because Jericho is on the other side.

The Covenant

Before you can help a city, you have to remember your covenant with God that will anchor your primary identity.

While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

-Joshua 5:10-12

This is why we regularly renew our covenant with the sacrament of communion, celebrating Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb, sacrificed at the cross to make way for the forgiveness of our sins.

The Commander of the Army of the Lord

Before you can help a city, you need to know where your help comes from.

When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” And the commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

-Joshua 5:13-15

This was on the cusp of the Israelites going in to take the hard, walled up city of Jericho.

Second City Church - Joshua Generation - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019