Joshua 5

* The Canaanites are afraid, Circumcision renewed. (1-9) The

passover at Gilgal The manna ceases. (10-12) The Captain of the

Lord's host appears to Joshua. (13-15)

1-9 How dreadful is their case, who see the wrath of God

advancing towards them, without being able to turn it aside, or

escape it! Such will be the horrible situation of the wicked;

nor can words express the anguish of their feelings, or the

greatness of their terror. Oh that they would now take warning,

and before it be too late, flee for refuge to lay hold upon that

hope set before them in the gospel! God impressed these fears on

the Canaanites, and dispirited them. This gave a short rest to

the Israelites, and circumcision rolled away the reproach of

Egypt. They were hereby owned to be the free-born children of

God, having the seal of the covenant. When God glorifies himself

in perfecting the salvation of his people, he not only silences

all enemies, but rolls back their reproaches upon themselves.
10-12 A solemn passover was kept, at the time appointed by the

law, in the plains of Jericho, in defiance of the Canaanites

round about them. It was a performance of the promise, that when

they went up to keep the feasts, their land should be under the

special protection of the Divine providence, #Ex 34:24|. Notice

is taken of the ceasing of the manna as soon as they had eaten

the old corn of the land. For as it came just when they needed,

so it continued as long as they needed it. This teaches us not

to expect supplies by miracles, when they may be had in a common

way. The word and ordinances of God are spiritual manna, with

which God nourishes his people in this wilderness. Though often

forfeited, yet they are continued while we are here; but when we

come to the heavenly Canaan, this manna will cease, for we shall

no longer need it.
13-15 We read not of any appearance of God's glory to Joshua

till now. There appeared to him one as a man to be noticed. This

Man was the Son of God, the eternal Word. Joshua gave him Divine

honours: he received them, which a created angel would not have

done, and he is called Jehovah, chap. #6:2|. To Abraham he

appeared as a traveller; to Joshua as a man of war. Christ will

be to his people what their faith needs. Christ had his sword

drawn, which encouraged Joshua to carry on the war with vigour.

Christ's sword drawn in his hand, denotes how ready he is for

the defence and salvation of his people. His sword turns every

way. Joshua will know whether he is a friend or a foe. The cause

between the Israelites and Canaanites, between Christ and

Beelzebub, will not admit of any man's refusing to take one part

or the other, as he may do in worldly contests. Joshua's inquiry

shows an earnest desire to know the will of Christ, and a

cheerful readiness and resolution to do it. All true Christians

must fight under Christ's banner, and they will conquer by his

presence and assistance.

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