JOSHUA - Lesson 7: Circumcision and The Cross
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
God's eternal covenant offered to Abraham and his descendants (which include us - Galatians 3:29) was, in a sense, signed by circumcision and fulfilled at the cross. Through that timeless cross, we are marked as His chosen people, distinct, holy and set apart for Him!
Thank you, precious Lord, for separating me unto yourself and for keeping the knife of the cross continually applied to my life, so that the lures of the world may have no power or place in me. You only are my righteousness, my peace and my very life. Teach me to delight in the cross and to be yielded always to its wonderful work in my life. Thank you, my Lord and King!
1. Read Joshua 5:1. Fulfilling His covenant promises, God has bound Himself to His people in an eternal love-relationship. When we walk with Him, He is continually at work on our behalf. Part of that work means involves dealing with our enemies -- both in and around us. What does verse 1 tell you about God's sovereignty and His work in the hearts of the enemies in the land?
2. How do these truths about God encourage you today?
3. Read Joshua 5:2-8. What did God ask His people to do?
4. What did circumcision mean to God's people in those days? (See Genesis 17:1-13)
5. God's people were facing a battle against a mighty enemy who was close enough to watch their daily lives, Yet, God commanded an act that would temporarily weaken rather than strengthen His soldiers. What does this tell you about God's perfect ways and timing?
6. What additional insights do you find in Isaiah 55:9-11 and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10?
7. Read Colossians 2:8-15. What does circumcision mean to Christians today? Why is it so important to the covenant-relationship with our Lord?
8. In the last lesson you pondered the two sets of 12 stones -- one set planted in the depths of the Jordan River; the other set taken from the river and planted on land as a memorial. Where do you see the message of those stones reflected in Paul's letter to the Colossians?
9. Do these passages deepen your appreciation for Galatians 2:20? Why, or why not?
10. Read Joshua 5:9-12. Why did God call the place they camped Gilgal (a rolling thing)?
11. The history of Gilgal brings us a sad warning. The following Scriptures show the rise and fall of this memorable place. What do they tell you?
Amos 5:4-6, 14-16 Notice that this last passage also show how to reverse the downward slide. What did God ask His people to do?
12. Read Romans 6:11-13. If you have "died to sin" through Christ and the cross, how can you "work out" the victory of the resurrection in your own life day by day? What must you believe and count on ?
13. In verse 13, what does the word "yield" mean?
14. What attitude and action does God prompt us to demonstrate before Him and the people in our lives?
15. Review. In the first four chapters of Joshua, where did you see an attitude of yieldedness?
16. In the light of all these passages, what choices or steps of action in your life might represent --
Crossing the Jordan?
Possessing the promised land?
17. What is your heart's response to God?
Next: Lesson 8 - God's amazing grace