What I love most reading Joshua chapter five and the first nine verses is how God places a premium on preparation. I see it in the New Testament too. Even in the preparation I am reminded that this is all for one task – cross the Jordan. It had nothing to do with the second task of taking Jericho for that required a different kind of preparation. In this case circumcision became the physical sign of a covenant, a mark that these were God’s people. I love the symbolisim of what God would do in my heart, enabling me to love Him. I am so thankful for the death and resurrection of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.
While the Israelites camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they kept the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month.[d] The day after Passover they ate unleavened bread and roasted grain from the produce of the land. – Joshua 5:10 HCSB
However, this preparation, celebrating the Passover, won my heart for I believe the spirit of unity is the soul of victory. It was a time of being thankful, together, a time to remember together.
Remember how the story of the prodigal son ended?
But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. – Luke 15:32 HCSB
The father loved the older son as much as the younger one and reminded him that all his wealth and all his property were at his disposal. There was time needed for the older son to reorient his thinking. He needed to see that they had something to celebrate – the brother who was thought dead, is alive. There had to be a party – the one lost was now found. I always wonder if the older brother ever recognized his self-righteousness, arrogance and lovelessness and made the decision to come to the party or did he resist the invitation because of his stubbornness and hard heart.
I know that same invitation to prepare, to celebrate is the same invitation that Jesus gives to me. It also is the same invitation he gave to the Pharisees and scribes and every other sinner that ever lived. What an invitation it is – a call to respond to the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Father, I love how You prepare my heart, taking each day, one day at a time, to grow me and mature me in my walk with You. I might be tempted to see it as a walk of trust or one of faith, but in my heart I know that You are calling me to a walk of love. When I watched You pray, prepared the Last Supper, prepare hearts for Your death and resurrection and specifically Your love for Peter, who You knew would struggle and fail so hard, I know that You have me in a special place too, preparing me for what You have called me to do. May today be no different, may I expect to be in awe of Your presence in my life.