Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sermon Idea Number - 14 -

Suggested Titles:

Courage, Consecration and Circumcision
Full Commitment
This is what allegiance looks like.

Passage:

Joshua 5

Passage Overview – some highlights:

This text may be a “PG-13” or even “R” rated at some level – so you will need to be careful in considering your words and your audience. But, the idea of the Israelites taking flint knives to their genitals shows the seriousness of their consecration to God. In this passage the Israelites who are on their journey with God, continue in their obedience as has been commanded in many other places.

The story of circumcision connected with Passover and Manna and Quail all are important in this story.

Important Specific Concepts:

This passage lacks any specifics about the need or rationale for circumcision, it only says God told them to do it. You may want to look to texts in Genesis about Abraham for some clarification on this act commanded by God. Genesis 17 notes how the covenant God makes is to be in their “flesh”, hence not just a “circumcision of the heart” (see Sermon on Deuteronomy 30) but both inward and outward.

Verse 9 may be a reference to the fact that the Israelites practice of circumcision made them unique compared to other cultures that didn’t practice circumcision – but there is some debate about this.

This physical act of commitment is tied to a meal, a holy meal, in which they remember how God saved them in the Passover. And, the story points forward by telling us that the provision of Manna and Quail in the past, has ended. This passage then looks forward to how their act of consecration prepares them for the new things God can do in the land for them. It ends by telling us not simply that they no longer ate Manna and Quail, but that in a new way, with their new commitment, they eat anew “produce of Canaan” (verse 12).

This is yet another story of how they must commit in obedience and allegiance to God.

Ideas for Illustrations:

Getting a haircut to “fit in” or be “in style.”

How easy it is to recognize “new army recruits” after their heads are shaved.

Imagine what it would be like if . . . all Christians had to wear X in order to be Christian, would you do it?

Ideas for Wrapping Up - Response - Call:

These Israelites were willing to undergo painful, non-anesthetized surgery to commit to God . . . and we want padded pews.

To eat the produce of the new land – and all it’s bounty – we’ve got to give up “the bland” routine of manna and quail and adventure with God into God’s new thing.”

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