Lesson 9: The Second Circumcision of Israel – Joshua 5:1-15

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

You're listening to Lesson 9 from the sermon series "Joshua" by Pastor Ricky Kurth. When you're done, explore more sermons from this series.

 

Summary:

The Jews needed circumcising (v.2) because they’d stopped it in the wilderness. God led them with a pillar (Ex.13:21), and sometimes moved them suddenly, “at night” (Num.9:17, 21), and newly circumcised boys shouldn’t be moved.

But God waited until after He parted the Jordan to do it, because the “Amorites” (Josh.5:1) were the giant sons of the fallen angels (Gen.6:1-4 cf. Amos 2:9). 40 years earlier they were afraid of the Jews when they heard God parted the Red Sea for them (Josh.2:10,11), but most of that fear had worn off. So God parted the Jordan for them so the giants would not attack them when they were “sore” (Gen.34:24,25).

There will be another circumcision of Jews. Once the beast starts persecuting Jews, they’ll head for the hills (Mt.24: 15,16) where they’ll be on the run, once again making it impossible to circumcise their sons, lest they subject them to sudden moves. But God will part the Red Sea and Jordan again to strike fear into Antichrist’s army so they won’t attack them before God uses them to beat him (Ps.149:5-9).

The foreskins of 600,000 men (Num.26:51) would create a twenty foot high “hill” (Josh.5:3), a type of a hill Christ will create at Armageddon. We see another type of this when David created one to get his bride, the king’s daughter (I Sam.18:17-26). The Lord will create one to get His bride, the King’s daughter (Rev.21:9), a hill of “flesh” the birds will eat (Rev.19:17,18) as their bodies are burned (IIThes.1:8).

“Gilgal” (Josh.5:9) means “roll,” and “reproach” means shame (Ps.69:7). The “reproach of Egypt” was the shame of idolatry (Ez.20:6-8). When the Jews left Egypt, God told them to leave behind their gods, gods they’d fallen into worshipping, but they didn’t. They combined the worship of God with idolatry (Am.5:25,26), and claimed to be sacrificing to God when they were sacrificing to them (Acts 7:42).

But God rolled that idolatry away at Gilgal. When “roll” is used as a verb, it usually refers to rolling a stone (Gen.29:3,8, 10; Josh.10:18; ISam.14:33; Pr.26:27; Mt.27:60). The Jews had a stone they shouldn’t roll away, and one they should (Deut.32:3,4,5,15,17,31,36,37). Saved Jews worshipped the Rock of God; unsaved Jews worshipped the rock of God plus idols. That’s the “stone” that was rolled away at Gilgal.

How did circumcision roll it away? When Abram had a son that God didn’t ask for in Genesis 16, God told him to circumcise the member that produced it in Genesis 17. So circumcision means death to what the flesh can produce. And in the wilderness, the Jews produced a false Judaistic mixture of the worship of God and idols. Circumcision rolled that rock away. They fell back into idolatry, but this is a type of the kingdom, where idolatry will be rolled away forever.

Eating “the old corn” of the land was the beginning of the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 6:10,11. They ate corn they hadn’t planted, and soon they’d live in the city of Jericho that they hadn’t built. This is a type of entering the kingdom, when the same will be true then (Ps.37:9-11;Pr.13:22). That’s why the Lord said the meek would “inherit” the earth (Mt.5:5). When they ate that corn, the manna stopped (Josh.5:12), a type of how the manna that will come down in the Tribulation (Micah 7:14,15) will stop in the kingdom.

This commander of God’s host (Josh.5:13-15) had to have been Christ, for He accepted Joshua’s “worship” (Rev. 22:8,9). Michael was the commander of His angelic host (Rev.12:7). He took his shoes off because this was a type of the renewal of the kingdom in Gilgal (I Sam.11:14; Acts1:6).

God told the Jews to circumcised their hearts (Deut.10:16) and kill all the sinful works of their flesh. They couldn’t, so He promised to (Deut.30:5,6), and will in the kingdom (IJo.3:9;5:18). But in God’s eyes, we have that now (Col.2: 11) by the circumcision of Christ, i.e., His death (Isa.53:7).

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