Tonight I was reading the Bible with a fellow child of God : )
Here are the verses for your reference before I begin:
23 And when He stepped into the boat, His disciples followed Him.
24 And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, so that the boat was covered by the waves; but He was sleeping.
25 And they came near and roused Him, saying, Lord, save us; we are perishing!
26 And He said to them, Why are you cowardly, you of little faith? Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
27 And the men marvelled, saying, What kind of man is this that even the winds and the sea obey Him?
I have read this passage before, and in other Gospels in the New Testament. Yet what struck me afresh this time round was the contrast between the great tempest described in Matt. 8:24 and the great calm featured in verse 26. It’s ironic because the weather in my present location could be likened to a “great tempest” of sorts, and I would wonder about boats and/or vessels that would brave the storm to be out on a boat. But Jesus was, and not only so but He was sleeping [in the boat] (verse 24). He surely was much greater than the tempest! When we face outward environments that may be literally comparable to storms or those that more figurative, or inward, the same applies –
Praise the Lord, He is greater than all! : )
As a brief summary of sorts, the children of Israel have already crossed the Jordan river by this point. Upon hearing of this, the kings of the Amorites and the Canaanites’s hearts melted. The children of Israel are re-circumcised, as it was the generation before them who had been circumcised, but not the new generation. They then keep the Passover, partake of the produce of the land and stop eating manna. We finally see Joshua envisioning a man with a sword, establishing that this man is Captain of Jehovah’s army and enquiring of what he (Joshua) is to do. Interestingly, the man tells Joshua to remove his sandals, for he stands on holy ground – much akin to Moses and his encounter with the burning thornbush.
Anyway, here is verse 2 of Joshua 5, followed by a footnote regarding the word circumcise which I was enlightened by:
At that time Jehovah said to Joshua, Make knives of flint, and circumcise again the children of Israel a second time.
“The purpose of circumcision was to make God’s chosen people a new people for the inheriting of God’s promised land (cf. Gen. 17:7-12). The circumcising of the new Israel typifies the circumcision of Christ, by His death, applied to the believers in the putting off of the body of the flesh that they may inherit Christ in resurrection as the portion allotted to them by God (Col. 2:11-12; 1:12).
Spiritual circumcision is a continuation of the burial in the death of Christ. Through the crossing of the river Jordan, the old Israel was buried and a new Israel came forth. This was an objective work done by God. Israel still needed to apply this work to their flesh. Their being circumcised was their practical application of what God had done in the crossing of the river Jordan. In the New Testament spiritual circumcision is the constant application of Christ’s death to our flesh (Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11 and notes). Although in fact we have been baptized into the death of Christ and have been buried and raised with Him (Rom. 6:3-4), in practicality we still must apply the circumcision of the cross to our flesh by the Spirit day by day (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:24). This is the reality and practicality of remaining in the death and burial of Christ.”
Footnotes 2 of notes in Galatians 5:24 and footnote 2 in Romans 8:13 are also noteworthy.
Numbers 22 speaks of Balak the king of Moab trying to ask Balaam, a Gentile prophet of God, to curse the Israelites. Balaam received the speaking from Jehovah to not go to meet Balak, but he still wanted to go. God’s speaking is very clear in that He said, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed” (v.12).
Footnote 1 of verse 8 for further enlightenment: “Balaam’s asking God whether he should go with the messengers or not was self-deception. If we seek the Lord’s will but are actually inclined to carry out our own desires, we may deceive ourselves, even as Balaam received himself.
We should seek the Lord’s will without having any other desire but to know His will and to do it.”
Makes me ponder my current situation and consider whether what I do is according to God’s will. O Lord, may Your will be realised in me!