Monday – Preparation God’s Way
By Nick Molick
“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 5:9
In Joshua chapter five we see God continuing to prepare His people to take the promised land. God is readying the way for His first invited people to take the land He promised the patriarchs of the Hebrews 400 years earlier, but this preparation does not mean forging new blades, shields and armament. No, quite the contrary. It meant readying their hearts and their faith by being devoted and obedient. This is yet another example of how God’s ways are not our ways. Thankfully by doing what He does, God once again grabs our attention. He lets us know that His story is all about Him and His desire for a right relationship with us where we show faith, devotion and obedience. God didn’t ask Joshua and his men to create next generation arms. He asked them to have a next generation faith.
Put yourself in Joshua’s shoes after reading Joshua 5:3. Joshua knows he is readying for a conquest, but he is given an order that seemingly makes his men less ready for battle. However, that was not the case. By being faithful, devoted, obedient, and adhering the right of circumcision Joshua and his men made their bodies and hearts ready to be in the will of God. God is asking something similar of us today. A circumcision of our hearts to be pained by our own sin that will turn us to God and make us reach the end of ourselves and the beginning of God’s grace, love, mercy and salvation.
God’s preparation of the Hebrew people did not stop there. God is a god of details. He wanted His people to be obedient but to also know that He was with them as three wonderful things happen in the second half of chapter five of Joshua. The Hebrew people celebrate Passover and are able to eat something other than manna. They ate of the fruit of the land that had been long since promised. Before that however, in verse nine, we see that after the obedient circumcision act by Joshua God let Joshua know He is with them and will give them the victory. God rolls back the oncoming Egyptians and then the city gets a new name, Gilgal. That is eerily close to the Hebrew word for roll, “galal.”
Next we see the Captain of the Lord’s army appear, and Joshua asks, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” The response he receives is telling. Look at it at in Joshua 5:14. It begins with “No” as if to say, “this is not how this works.” What is happening in this theophany (manifestation of God) or Christophany (appearance of a pre-incarnate Christ) is that Joshua was told it matters what side you are on.
What side do we choose? The army of the Lord, where the preparation may not make sense to us, is reverent and powerful because God is God and we are not.
Bible Reading Plan - Day 176