What is more to the point here is Joshua's qualities, traits, and strengths. How much did they match Christ's? How Christlike was he really? Joshua clearly misstepped in the matter of Gibeon, a Hivite city that sent emissaries craftily disguised to make the Israelites think they had journeyed a long distance when they actually lived quite close to the Israelite camp. He did not consult the Lord, it is written (Joshua 9:14-16): "So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them. Anmd it came about at the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard they were neighbors and that they were living within their land."
Finally, he came to his famous statement, which rings down through the centuries and the millennia even to our day: "And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living, BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD."
They had just celebrated the Passover as well, which had been discontinued for many years of the wandering period.
At the time of the celebration, God declared to them, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you," and the place was called "Gilgal," consequently, which has the meaning of "stones rolled or rolling away." Joshua, having done all this and observed these events, went walking from the camp one day, as he considered Jericho in the near distance and what it may require to attack and capture this strategic city, which stood at the door of all southern and central Canaan. But where was he, emotionally and spiritually? High or low? Or somewhere in between?
I believe this man of God was low at the moment. The reasons were plain: his entire army of valiant fighting men were incapacitated, having undergone circumcision. In their condition they could not fight off a small band of raiders, much less take a great, fortified, high-walled city of Jericho.
Why had God "delayed" to command the circumcision until this critical moment? he might well have wondered as he gazed toward the enemy fortress-city.
But he had had to obey God, and now what would they do? So he walked alone on the Jericho plain, considering the situation.
All his doubts and short-comings must have assaulted his mind, threatening his faith in God with horrible failure and calamity. Yes, God had always come through for Israel in the past, but this was an entirely new situation, it seemed. They were now in the land promised to his fathers, but how weak and out of fighting-form they were, thanks to the circumcision! What on earth would they do if the king of Jericho, informed of Israel's weakness, sallied out with his chariots and mighty warriors and attacked them at Gilgal? What would they do then?
They would have to run to save their lives, would they not? Except for Caleb, only he, the commander, was still able to fight, having been circumcised along with the older generation many years before. But he was not a young man. What could he do against the whole army of Jericho?
Finally, how did God view Joshua? From first to last, it all comes down to Joshua's name, which was given him by Moses by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. "Joshua" is the same name that we translate today as Jesus, the Valiant Messiah and Son of God who came down to save us, who as Joshua before him led His people forth into the Promised Land, which for us is the New Birth, which entitles us to enter the glorious Kingdom of God as God's children and heirs of Christ.
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