'Appreciating God's Love'
God's Unseen Preparation
Jos 2:9-11 and said to the men: "I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
Even before the Israelites attacked Jericho the first city to be conquered, God had already completely destroyed their faith for all of them had resigned to defeat.
Had the Israelites attacked them forty years earlier at God's command, they too would have taken Jericho easily for the Canaanites had already heard that God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites and annihilated the powerful Egyptian army pursuing them.
Brethren, our Lord Jesus had already defeated the devil and He has empowered us so that we too can defeat him. We only need to trust Him completely and walk by faith in accordance to His words to enjoy victory after victory for He will hold our hands in our Christian walk with Him.
Rev 12:10-11 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."
Ready to Give Up their Lives
Jos 1:18 "Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage."
With their strong faith in God, and their glorious hope of the Promised Land, the words of God within them transformed this new generation to become strong, bold and fearless. They were ready to risk their lives for the conquest of the land of Canaan.
Obedience unto Death
Jos 3:14-15 So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest)
By faith, the Israelites obeyed Joshua's command to cross the overflowing River Jordan, which was death defiling. It is suicidal to try crossing an overflowing river. This is their living faith which was put to work by their obedience unto death, for they loved not their lives.
God's Love and Faithfulness
Jos 4:22-23 then you shall let your children know, saying, 'Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land'; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over."
Having tested their faith and sincerity, God then showed His love and concern for His beloved people by drying up the river so that they could cross the river safely on dried ground.
Circumcision at Jericho
Jos 5:2,5 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, "Make flint knives for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Israel: again the second time.".. For all the people who came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness, on the way as they came out of Egypt, had not been circumcised.
After crossing the River Jordan, Joshua made camp at Gilgal just outside Jericho. God told Joshua to circumcize the uncircumcized Israelites. This was madness for it would take only a handful of soldiers from Jericho to massacre all the Israelites.
They remembered that when Hamor, Shechem and their people were circumcized, it took only Simeon and Levi to killed all of them for they were suffering from great pain on the third day.
Since Joshua commanded that all of them were to be circumcized, they accepted the command for they had faith in God that He would deliver them.
Gen 34:24-25 And all who went out of the gate of his city heeded Hamor and Shechem his son; every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, each took his sword and came boldly upon the city and killed all the males.
Whole Field Ready for Harvest
Jos 5:8 So it was, when they had finished circumcising all the people, that they stayed in their places in the camp till they were healed.
After their recovery from circumcision, the Israelites celebrated their Passover and then harvested the cereal for food.
Note: God even prepared food for them to harvest so that they do not need manna anymore.
Jos 5:11-12 And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day. Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.