March 12, 2000

                                      Joshua 3-5


                                           Ch. 3


Lesson - Divine Command

               Human leadership  - Every step at the express

               Obedience                 command of God


Wait until the will of God is known  - then no hesitation

or delay


Duty - do not rest till it is done - Procrastination is

foolish and wrong


The command is clear!  The way open!  Go at once!


The command seemed like folly with the banks of

the Jordan overflowed.  GOD MAKES THE WAY!


v. 4 - "ye have not passed this way heretofore"


His Word - Lamp unto our feet

His Example - a  pattern to follow

His Promise -"with us always even unto the end of the age"


v. 5 - A special work, a special preparation.


v. 7 -   All the work is of God - no human means could avail!


Eph. 2:9 - "not of works lest any man should boast"


God's glory manifested!  Man's insufficiency exposed!

"Here is the way, walk in it"


v. 8 - God could have divided Jordan without the priests

            but they could not do it without Him.


God is pleased to use human means & blesses them.


II Cor. 4:7 - "But we have this treasure in earthen

            vessels, that the excellency of the power

            may be of God, and not of us"


v. 10 - "the Living God is among you"


v. 11 - "the Lord of all the earth"


v. 15 - "the swelling of the Jordan" - Jer. 12:5


"the time of the harvest" - Exodus 9:31,33 - the

barley & flax ripen together - ch. 2:6


v. 16 - "stood and rose up upon a heap"

            "failed and were cut off"


v. 17 - "stood firm" ... "all the people were clean

            passed over"


Had they drawn back, after entering Jordan, had they

shown signs of uncertainty, the waters would have

returned and the people would not have dared to cross.

So great is the responsibility that rests on God's

ministers.  The people look to them for guidance and

encouragement.  If they faint by the way, if they falter

in their work, if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound,

or if they retreat from their appointed task, the conflict

with evil stands still, the pathway to further conquests

is not opened.


How many works have failed because "the priests did

not stand firm in the waters of the Jordan"?


Timidity, half-heartedness, divided counsels, profitless

controversies, have obscured the witness for God's Truth.


** Not in earnest - amused me?  "Compel them"


                                    Ch. 4


v. 6 - Inquisitiveness of children - Answers from parents-

            me - Joey & Steve Holland -


v. 10 - "until everything was finished that the Lord

            commanded Joshua"..."the people hasted &

            passed over"


v. 12 - "passed armed" - prepared for war - life of

            inaction or idleness, treason to the cause.


Matt. 12:30 - "He that is not with me is against me;

and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."


v. 14 - ch. 3:7


v. 20 - a memorial - memorials - Memorials of past blessings -

our children ask - What mean these? - Our reply - For what

God did in our fathers' days and in olden time before them.


Praise the Lord for His mercies to the children of men.


Every tribe took a part!


v. 24 - "fear" - gone from man? - Romans 3:18 - "There is

            no fear of God before their eyes"


No opposition - River, earth subject to Him!  Rivers a threat  -

 Lonesome Dove - Log of a Cowboy


                                    Ch. 5


v. 1 - "their heart melted" - Confirming what Rahab

has said - ch. 2:11 - Similar terror has often been struck

into the hearts of peoples, especially of peoples enervated

by habits of licentious indulgence, but the approach of

enemies who have successfully and rapidly overcome

obstacles deemed insurmountable.


Peace crowd in government or public - Make love, not war?


Under special protection from Heaven - Exodus 11:7 -

"against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move

his tongue...that ye may know how that the Lord doth put

a difference between the Egyptians and  Israel"


v. 2 - "At that time" - why Israel was able to administer

the rite of circumcision at so critical a period.


No murmurings - confidence in God - they would be

incapacitated for a period.  Confident that God would

 protect :  They consecratethemselves before going into

battle against the enemy.

There was a danger but no hesitation - the marvelous

passage of the Jordan had inspired them with eager

desire to renew the covenant with the God "who had

done so great things for them"


Restoration of Circumcision - why? - vs. 4-7


Exodus 4:24-26


v. 6 - The covenant between God & Israel was

annulled permanently, in the case of those who were

condemned to die in the wilderness, temporarily only

in their descendants, who were formally reconciled here.


Satan trembles when he sees us determined to carry out

God's will - his heart melts when he sees us advancing

under Jesus our Captain -






Isaiah 54:17 - "No weapon that is formed against thee

shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against

thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.  This is the heritage

of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of

me, saith the Lord."


Satan has no weapons for hand to hand conflict with the

body of Christ!  His only weapons are to corrupt, to deceive,

to compromise with the world.


Whenever God's disciples have battled evil boldly and

unflinchingly, they have been victorious.  "Greater is

He that is in you than he that is in the world"


v. 9 - Reproach of Egypt gone. 


With the arrival in Canaan the reproach was gone.


All those who had deserved punishment were dead, all

the uncircumcised were circumcised, reproach and misery

were put aside and Israel entered into a new life with God!


"the glorious liberty of the children of God" - Rom. 8:21









vs. 10-12 - The Passover - When he who is out of fellowship

with the Father desires to return and serve God, after a

period of disobedience and rebellion, he must prepare

himself by repentance and obedience, to feed on the flesh

of the slain Lamb of God in the sacrament in which He has

ordained.  It is through the death of Christ which alone has

obtained the pardon.  The penitent calls men to witness by

joining in the solemn celebration of his intention to hence-

forth be an obedient servant of Christ.  He envokes the

sympathy and assistance of his brethren in his recovery from

the snare of Satan - "who are taken captive by him at his will"

II Tim. 2:26 - and binds himself anew in looking to life from

the Spirit.


v. 12 - the manna did not cease until they had crossed the Jordan


v. 14 - Captain of the Lord's Hosts - angels, forces of nature,

the Defense, Shield of His people before their adversaries.


Pre-manifestations of the Incarnation of Christ - Bro. Duncan -

the medium of the Father's revelation under old dispensation.

(A series of semons in the late 1960's)


"Joshua fell on his face"


The Son of God was ever the link of communication between

God and the external world.  By Him God created it; through

Him,  He has been for ever pleased to deal with it; He revealed

the final dispensation of God's will to it, He shall come again

to judge it and by His Spirit He still reveals God's will to man.


John 16:13 - "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He

will guide you into all truth:  for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He  speak: and He will

shew you things to come."


"The Lord is on ;my side,  I will not fear:  What can man do

unto me?"  Psalm 118:6


We gather that Joshua was meditating the plan of his future

campaign, and deliberating on the mode of capturing the

strong walled city close by which he stood, (v. 13)   when God

appeared to him in the form of a warrior, and solved all his

doubts  by commanding him to prepare for a miraculous

intervention of His Providence, and instead of war-like

expedients to resort to a religious ceremony, which should

be the external token to all the surrounding nations that the

invading host was under the protection of the Lord of Heaven

and earth; a fact which they all ready were aware by the passage

of the Red Sea and the Jordan.


v. 15 - "Loose thy shoe from off thy feet"  - Clear proof of



We are on Holy Ground - we should be absolutely devoted to

Him and His will!