Israel Is Circumcised
1Now it came about when 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 how the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the sons of Israel until they had crossed, that their hearts melted, and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the sons of Israel. 2At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make for yourself flint knives and circumcise again the sons of Israel the second time.” 3So Joshua made himself flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at [a]Gibeath-haaraloth. 4This is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, died in the wilderness along the way after they came out of Egypt. 5For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised. 6For the sons of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, that is, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished because they did not listen to the voice of the LORD, to whom the LORD had sworn that He would not let them see the land which the LORD had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 7Their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way. 8Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. 9Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the name of that place is called [b]Gilgal to this day. 10While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho. 11On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. 12The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year.
13Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” 14He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” 15The captain of the LORD’S host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Before overcoming a challenging situation, God often brings us through a time of spiritual preparation. Such was the case prior to Israel’s conquest of Canaan. As Joshua—the commander of the Hebrew army—stood near Jericho contemplating the battle ahead, God appeared to him.
Joshua’s reaction to this fresh encounter with God can help us learn how we should respond when He speaks to us in our hearts through His Word and His Spirit.
- He approached the Lord in order to speak with Him.
- He fell on his face in humility and submission to His authority.
- He asked for further instruction—“What has my lord to say to his servant?” (v. 14).
- He obeyed immediately.
- He feared God and treated Him as holy.
The Lord is always waiting to meet with us, but sadly, we are often too busy to make the effort to approach Him. By neglecting His presence, we miss the opportunity to receive His encouragement, strength, and direction for our challenging situations.
Our attitude during times of Scripture reading and prayer is very important. A humble, submissive, and teachable spirit enables us to hear God, and immediate obedience to His instructions reveals our awesome respect for Him.
If you’re struggling with a difficulty and wondering why the Lord hasn’t intervened, maybe He’s waiting for you to meet with Him and—like Joshua—to humble yourself before Him in absolute dependence. Only then will you be in a position to hear God’s voice and follow His instructions.