GOOD MORNING TO YA, SIBLINGS!
Today’s readings are Joshua 5-8
The First Passover In The Promised Land
Wow. I am awestruck just thinking about what that must have been like. You’ll recall that the first Passover ever was observed by their parents the night before the great exodus out of Egypt.
It is possible that most of these men were children whose lives were spared in that momentous historical event. And now they get to commemorate it.
Joshua 5:14 – You may want to take a rabbit trail of looking back to original language for more insight into just who this was with a sword in front of Joshua. Note that angels do not allow themselves to be worshipped and the same order is given to Joshua that was given to Moses at the burning bush “Take your sandals off because you’re on Holy ground.”
Sidenote: I want to reiterate that angels never accept worship. Instead, they point those they appear to towards the Father. If there is an entity that allows you to worship it, consult it, and pray to it, and that entity isn’t a form of YHWH, it is a darker force. Because a messenger of YHWH does not allow such things. They would point you to the Father instead. Here are just a few proof verses: Colossians 2:18, Rev 22:8-9, and Deut 5:7. Matthew 4:9-10 brings a great deal to light about what force is really behind this.
Chapter 6 – the Shofars!
Note that these were not trumpets like we think of them but rather ram’s horns or shofars.
Now, if you’ve ever seen one of the videos of me blowing my shofar you’ll note that even on video and even with my pitiful shofar skills, they are VERY loud and the sound carries. In fact, two years ago, when we were celebrating the feast of Sukkot (one of YHWH’s feasts, also called the Feast of Tabernacles), we were sitting around a campfire one (early) evening and decided to blow our shofar. From far away on the other side of the campground we heard a shofar blow in reply. Then, a few moments after that one stopped, from even further in yet another direction we heard another shofar blow in reply! It was really amazing.
The sound is one you will never forget. In fact, my friends and I have a theory that our soul even recognizes it because some people have such strong reactions whenever they hear one. It is a tingling, almost as if a recognition, a Shema, if you will. A call to sit up straight, pay attention, and prepare to do the Father’s bidding. The Bible tells us that when our Messiah returns we will hear those Shofars blow from Heaven. Isaiah 27:13, your translation may say trumpet in place of shofar.
RUH ROH – I am not going into conspiracy theories here, that is my sister’s job. But I just find it interesting that there are countless youtube videos where people report hearing a strange sound in the sky coming from seemingly all around them. It has happened in several places around the world and if you listen to many of the videos, it sounds surprisingly like a shofar being blown from the Heavens. A rabbit trail to take if you would like – or not.
Also: There are different notes you blow on a shofar that mean different things. Long notes, high notes, and a series of short blasts, etc. So if you’re ever around a few million Israelites and some guy starts blowing a shofar, causing them all to respond in unison, chances are communication is being relayed and received. Not that I think you’ll end up around 3 million Israelites anytime soon but I wanted to prepare you in case!
You may have noticed that there is a recurring theme in Joshua with both him and his soldiers rising early. This is a way of saying they were zealous to arise and do the will of the Lord. It is a figure of speech denoting a character trait of eagerness to follow God.
Beginning in 7:6 we see Joshua crying out to YHWH asking why He has brought them this far only to have them be destroyed. YHWH is having none of it. GET UP Israel has sinned against me!
It is interesting to note that while one person committed the sin, all of Israel was held responsible. No doubt there were righteous men and women among them who were innocent but they, as a whole, were responsible for the transgression against YHWH which had taken place in their land and they were responsible for repenting of this sin according to guidelines set up by the YHWH.
In Joshua 6:18-20 we see clear instruction given to all of Israel:
18 But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. 19 But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” 20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.
Have you ever heard a story of a child who stole something from their parents? Especially an adult child. It evokes a sense of horror and betrayal unlike any other. The Father has clearly declared that these things, once conquered, are Holy unto Him. They now belong to Him, are His property. We need to step back and understand the mindset, boldness, and brazen rebellion that would allow a man, having witnessed the power of YHWH firsthand, having fought in His army, to then steal what belongs to YHWH. Don’t be tempted to see this as “Well, he was tempted. He couldn’t help it.” because that is a western mindset kicking in. He was an adult. He knew his actions were wrong. He knew full well the authority of YHWH, and he made a choice to go against that.
In other ways, I have done the same thing many times in my life. It is only by His grace and mercy that I am here today, being guided through the wholeness of His word and generously allowed to partake of His wisdom so that I can turn from that behavior which so justly deserved condemnation, a price that was paid for me by Messiah. Once we know better, we do better.
We end this chapter with Joshua renewing the covenant between Israel and YHWH. It is a beautiful ending, a restoration and renewal of all. Read that passage and look for the word “sojourner” because that is where most of us fit into the picture. The Father, in His great care and attentiveness to detail, has made a way for us since the beginning of time.
May we all renew our pursuit of YHWH today!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!