Joshua’s Sandals and Jericho: Experiencing the Holiness of God

In Josh. 1 and 6, we learned that the Law is the key to the land. Obedience to the Law is the means for possession of the land. The reason is that God wants the undivided devotion of His people. The test of devotion is obedience to the Law. In Josh. 5, the people of Israel expressed their devotion to Yahweh by the act of circumcision and celebration of the Passover.

In Josh. 5:13-6:27, we see the same emphasis on the same theme of devotion. But this time, it is devotion to the requirements of the holiness of God in the Law.

The conquest of Jericho begins with the arrival of the divine commander. The story begins with a God-initiated encounter between the commander of the LORD’s army and Joshua, the commander of Israel’s army. The commander of the LORD’s army tells Joshua to take off his sandals, for the place he is standing is holy. The  emphasis in our text is on the holiness of God.1 Joshua must  realize that the battle begins with a holy God. Hence, Israel’s devotion to God’s holiness is the key to victory.

Likewise, if we expect God to fight for us, we must ponder the holiness of God. If you will be victorious in Christian living, you must be holy as God is holy. If you will inherit the land, you must reflect the holiness of God in your life.

Our text shows us how this theme is played out in the conquest of Jericho. I’d like us to note two things that call for our devotion to the holiness of God. . . . more

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