Saturday, March 16

Saturday, March 16  

Scripture: Joshua 5:9-12

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.” So that place has been called Gilgal to this day.

10 While the Israelites were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month.11 The very next day they began to eat unleavened bread and roasted grain harvested from the land. 12 No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again. So from that time on the Israelites ate from the crops of Canaan.

Some thoughts:

     This passage of Scripture marks the end of a very long wait for the children of Israel. Most days are pretty ordinary which is good. If every day was a drama, we’d wear out! Then there are those days when something of greater significance occurs. This was such a day for the Israelites. There is also an interesting play on words here. The phrase used by God is “I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.” The Israelites were camped outside of Jericho at a place called Gilgal which sounds like the Hebrew word galal, meaning “to roll,” indicating that this was the place where God would roll away the reproach of Egypt . . . forty years after the fact.

     The great Exodus is an Old Testament type of the redemption story. God’s message to Joshua, “I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt” is an interesting choice of words. For in the New Testament, it was God who rolled away the stone which covered the entrance to Jesus’ (Joshua in Hebrew) tomb. Jesus led the ultimate exodus from slavery to sin by his victorious resurrection thereby opening the way to the ultimate promised land, that of seeing him face to face. God rolled away the shame of our slavery to sin at the tomb of his Son.

     The provisions God had supplied in the past (manna) had come to an end in their new setting.

The phrase “and it was never seen again” was another way of saying it’s over and done with, what was necessary then is no longer now, the forty-year miracle is over, and we are in a new chapter. The celebration of the Passover reminded them again how God had brought them out of slavery. The past was past. God continued to supply for their needs, but now the provisions came from their current home. The same holds true as believers look forward and dwelling in God’s presence eternally. In one sense we are all still in the desert relying on daily manna from the Lord. We need to feed on his Word daily. The day is coming when we will be with him in heaven. This is all to say, though God may linger, teaching, disciplining, and training us in the meantime, he is always faithful to the end. Remember his words, “Today I have rolled away the stone.” That day was not ordinary, it made all the difference all the way to today! The greatest day is yet to come.

Music: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” Sam Robson   

Prayer: Heavenly Father, your love, timing, and care for your children are perfect . . . always. Forgive us when we doubt your love, are frustrated at your timing, and wonder if your care for us is really the best. We forget you swell in eternal time. You are utterly faithful in ways we never experience except with you. May our “experience with you” become more and more ordinary in that we would consciously live with greater and greater awareness of eternal time as we look forward to celebrating the “todays of the rolled away stone” with you in the heavenly realm. This we pray in the name of our faithful Savior, Jesus the Christ.

Amen.                                                                        —Daniel Sharp