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The story of the Bible is the story of two kingdoms in conflict - cosmic battle between light & darkness, truth and falsehood. We are a people at war with the dark forces of Satan’s kingdom. This reality is over-emphasised in some quarters & under-emphasised in others. Many Christians seem determined to remain as civilians in time of warfare. They are like POWs - marginalised and neutralised. Others, like Clark Kent (Superman), can't seem to find a phone box – They have an identity crisis.

For those who cross the Jordan, warfare is inevitable – we are invading enemy territory.

 

[1] THE CONDITION OF THE ENEMY

a. Outward appearance suggests invincible strength - recall Numbers 13/27-33 That 'bad report' & subsequent unbelief crippled/sidelined the nation for 40 years in the wilderness.

b. The 'bad report' made no reference to God - only Joshua & Caleb gave their report based on God’s involvement Num. 14/6-9  

c. All 12 saw the same land but there were 2 vastly different conclusions. Here are 2 further examples

       *David & Saul - 1 Sam. 17 - each saw Goliath but each responded differently – V.11 and vs. 34-37

      *Elisha & his servant - 2 Kings 6/8-17 - Elisha saw something his servant missed - reality

e. To this point, Israel was deceived by externals – the reality was the enemy was already defeated.

f. Read  Joshua 2/9-11 then read Joshua 5/1 - victory was assured but combat was unavoidable

 

[2] THE COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION (Vs.2-9)

a. Circumcision was sign of unique relationship between God and His people For 40 years this. rite was neglected because of unbelief & disobedience (5-7)

b. They were now back at the point of initial disobedience – and a place to renew their commitment

c. This rite /ritual marked renewal of the relationship- two-party covenant/agreement- mutual

 

[3] THE CELEBRATION OF THE PASSOVER (Vs.10-12)

a. Apart from one exception at Mt. Sinai, this was another neglected aspect of faith

b. People are now celebrating Exodus - how meaningless to do so in wilderness

c. God brought them OUT to bring them IN - Deut 6/23 - both needed for completion

 

[4] THE COMMANDER FOR THE CONFLICT (vs.13-15)

a. Human leadership/resources are necessary but, on their own, they are inadequate for victory

b. Joshua is human leader but Man With The Sword is the ultimate commander

c. Joshua – “Friend or foe?” (Joshua) “I haven ‘t come to take sides but to take over!” (Man)

d. This is Joshua's "burning bush" experience - Joshua's "Joshua’s “Gethsemane"? – The battle is  or won here!!  Jesus’ victory was won in the garden. Our victory is won before we go into battle

e. Joshua becomes a man under authority and thus a thus a man with authority (Matthew 8/5-12)

f. Helpful picture of "church leadership" - the Lord alone commands, then leaders lead

g. Acts 13/1-3- Who is in charge here? Who is the commander? The Holy Spirit.

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