Joshua: Renewed Covenants

Joshua 5:1-15

Why don’t pirates take a shower before they walk
the plank?
They just wash up on shore.

I heard there is a new simplified tax form this year.
It only has 4 lines.
How much income did you have for the year?
How many expenses did you have?
How much do you have left?
Send it in.

This morning we are going to turn our attention to the
5th chapter of Joshua.
Last week we talked about the two memorials that were
set up as reminders to the people of what God had done.
It was to serve as a visual reminder for years to come.

This week we are going to see some covenants renewed
that God had initiated years before.

Let’s begin by praying and asking God to speak to us
through His word and for us to hear and obey His word
this morning.

God’s Power and Might Recognized by Canaanites

God had promised Israel that He would give them the
land of Canaan. As we have already discussed
previously, there were still people living in these lands.

All the kings from around the entire land of Canaan heard
what God had done at the Jordan river, drying it up so
that His people could cross. The last verse of chapter 4
is being fulfilled. The purpose of God stopping up the
Jordan river was so that all the people of the earth would
know the Lord’s hand is mighty.

The impact it had on the people was also mighty.
The Bible says their hearts melted and there was no spirit
in them any longer.
They Became Discouraged
The Hebrew word here is mawsasas. It means to melt or
waste away, grow fearful.
They knew they were going to be destroyed by God’s
chosen people.

This was the same word Rahab used to describe the
people when the spies scouted out the land in chapter 2.

Joshua 5:2-9

God Renews His Covenant of Circumcision

God had originally instituted the covenant of circumcision
with Abraham back in Genesis 17:7-14.

Now God commands Joshua to take flint knives and
circumcise the men at Gibeath-haaraloth.

You probably don’t want to know this, but I’m going to
tell you anyway, the name Gibeath-haaraloth means Hill
of the Foreskins.

You might be thinking, “what a strange time for God to
tell Joshua to circumcise all these men”. It seems like it
would be the best time for them to attack Jericho. They
are terrified of Israel because they have seen what God
can do.

And circumcising all the men would certainly delay their
ability to fight for several days. What was God thinking?

God’s concern is not the current occupants, but the
future ones.

All the men who were brought out of Egypt died during
the 40 year wilderness period. God had promised that
they would not see the promised land because of their
disobedience. All of these men were circumcised.

But, during the wandering period they stopped
circumcising their young men. God never told them to
stop, they just stopped.
It was a period of disobedience and apathy.

God is preparing this new generation to focus on Him and
follow His direction and guidance once again.

So, Joshua circumcised them and they remained in the
camp until they recovered.

Next, the Lord tells Joshua that today He has rolled away
the reproach of Egypt and called the place Gilgal.
Gilgal sounds like the Hebrew galal which means to roll.

God was removing the stigma that Egypt had against
Israel. Egypt thought God may be taking them into the
wilderness to kill them, but after they agreed to the
circumcision, God returned them to a place of favor and
blessing. Again, preparation for them to receive the
promised land.

Joshua 5:10-12

Israel Observes Passover

Not only had Israel neglected to circumcise their sons,
they neglected to observe the Passover.

Exodus 12:48 tells us that circumcision is required for
anyone to observe Passover.

The Passover was established during the plagues of
Egypt. The 10th plague was when the angel of death
came and killed all the firstborns in the land of Egypt
except those who put the blood of the lamb on their
doorpost. God promised to pass over those houses.

After they escaped Egypt they stopped observing the
Passover. God prepared them to observe it once again by
having them circumcised.

Also, let’s take a moment to consider the connection
between the Passover and the Lord’s Supper.

The Passover is a memorial of Israel’s physical
deliverance through the sacrifice of a sacrificial lamb.

The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of a believer’s spiritual
deliverance through the sacrifice of the spotless lamb,
Jesus Christ.

God Changes His Provision

The day after the Passover they ate the unleavened
bread and the produce from the land.
God had been providing manna for 40 years and now He
changed up the way He would provide for them.

He would no longer send them manna from heaven, He
has given them the land flowing with milk and honey.
They would now have their fill of the wonderful fruit of
the land and the grain from the fields. God is still
providing, He just changed up the method of His

This is a lesson for us today. Sometimes God will
change the way He provides for us. We have to
have spiritual eyes to see what He is doing and
follow His lead.

Joshua 5:13-15

God Visits Joshua

Joshua sees what he thinks is a man holding a sword, so
he approaches him and asks him if he is for Israel or
Jericho. The man simply says no and identifies himself as
the captain of the host of the Lord.

Joshua bows down to worship him and asks what the
Lord wants from His servant.
He tells him to remove his sandals because he is standing
on holy ground.

Now, that takes us back to the burning bush when God
spoke to Moses.

Today we recognize this as a theophany, God revealing
Himself in the physical form before Jesus came to earth.

It’s actually really amazing because God had already
promised that He would be with Joshua wherever he
would go and that he would never leave or forsake him.
He also promised to be with him just as he was with

The sword in His hand is also significant. God is about to
lead Israel into many battles. They are to depend on the
strength of the Lord not their own.


Once again we see our own personal application.
God has equipped us for battle.
He has given us the armor of God and He tells us to
put it on and stand firm.
The great news is that He has already won the war.
We still have to fight, but thank goodness we are
on His side.