05 May – Additional Notes


The problem with a deep-thinking poet or a complex playwright, like Shakespeare, isn’t with the creator of the work. The problem is with me, and whether of not I’m willing to apply my time to understanding their work. Yet as fascinating as Shakespeare is, my eternal future won’t be affected if I experience this life without him. If, however, I look in the mirror at the complex machinery of ME, I shouldn’t wonder that my Maker’s Global MasterPlan will take time to unpack.

Today’s chapter is set in a period about 3,500 years ago when the nation of Israel was born. They’d been miraculously extracted out from Egypt (one entire population taken clean out of another) after significant divine intervention that brought down one of the greatest ancient civilizations – Ancient Egypt. When Egypt lost their entire army trying to recapture Israel[a], everyone in the surrounding nations heard about it.[b] Now, this same God dried up the flooded Jordan River and like a swarm of locusts, Israel were encamped on The West Bank at the very gates of Jericho, leaving nothing but fear and dread in the hearts of the local population. [v1]

But with all that said however, once the shield of water was taken from Israel’s protection, the Creator God asked Joshua to circumcise all their males. [v2-3] This would have left them powerless to fight for 3 days! The only way to explain this, is if you’ve seen the Brad Pitt movie Troy. Hundreds of thousands arrive on the beach but instead of storming the castle, they perform a religious rite that renders their entire male population completely powerless to protect themselves! Surely it would have been better for them to be circumcised as they were born and along their 40-year journey. But the Creator God has often done things upside-down throughout history – precisely because it’s HIStory, not our story.[c]

But what would any of this mean for me today?

For one thing, I’ve to learn to trust Him. I have to understand that He sees things from above and I see things from below – which is often from an opposite perspective. If I’m created in His image to be like Him, then I’m almost certainly going to have to retrain myself to process things differently.[d] For example, this circumcision was like sheep being branded by the shepherd. It’s likely that no other nation circumcised their boys except those who came from Abraham.[e] For some reason, the pattern wasn’t continued while the nation of Israel journeyed through the desert. [v5] It seems clear from the storyline, that they had broken faith with Father God and didn’t listen to His voice. [v6] Because of that, the Creator God raised up for Himself a whole new “flock of sheep”. It was with this second group, that the Creator God renewed His relationship (His contract/covenant) with them through reinstituting circumcision and, “coincidentally” (though nothing is random with our Maker), this followed immediately with the Festival of Passover. [v4-9]

Again, this isn’t random. It was with precision timing that the Creator moved His people into their destination on the tenth day of the first month.[f] This meant that they would arrive, be healed from their circumcision [v2-3], and be settled in time to celebrate the Jewish Passover. [v10] Since this is a strategically thought-through timetable as the Creator weaves golden threads into HIStory, there’s several things to learn…

  1. A religious ritual at the start of our journey, doesn’t keep us close to our Maker. Nor does it guarantee a happy ending at the end of the journey. A branded sheep can ignore the voice of the shepherd, wander off in the opposite direction, and never return. The Creator God is looking for sheep who’ll listen to His voice.

  2. But if His voice is coming from someone else – a second person who is carrying the Creator’s Name within Himself – it’s vitally important for us to identify who this person is, in order for us to listen to His voice.[g]

  3. The preserved past is a permanent warning for our future. The Creator God makes oaths to Himself [v6] and, since He is Eternal, His word/oaths are eternal. If He has sworn not to allow people into a physical land, because they didn’t listen to His voice, how much more will we not be able to enter into His eternal Kingdom, if we don’t listen to His voice.[h]

  4. We’re to be circumcised in our hearts.[i] This permanent irreversible change to our heart, can’t be performed surgically, by any outward religious process. Instead it’s something that is done within our spirit by the mercy of God at work in us.[j]

  5. When we follow our Maker’s instructions, He’s willing to lift from us the blockage that has come between us. [v9] Conversely, if we don’t follow His Word, we remain in a state of “reproach”.[k]

But is the title of today’s post is: “Unveiling the Bread”; so, what does all this have to do with bread? Many today could read a chapter like today’s and wonder what on earth it has to do with us. If our Maker’s Handbook is our Guidebook for LIFE, then some important teaching came with the manna/bread and it remains important today:

“…He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” [Deuteronomy 8:3]

For forty years in the wilderness they collected Breadcrumbs every morning – wafer flakes that tasted like honey, which appeared with the dew.[l] They crossed the Jordan and still the “manna” came in the dew – enough to feed at least a million people every day. Then, a series of important things happened – important puzzle pieces – that will become important later in this epic saga. First, the Creator God’s people observed Passover, a feast celebrating God’s provision of salvation. Then they ate produce from the land. [v11] They’d come out of the wilderness, crossed the Jordan River and were now able to eat freely from the produce found in what is now the country of Israel. On the very day, the miracle food that they called “manna” (bread), mysteriously stopped. And, when that happened, a person showed up.

In other words, when the bread stopped (which fed them physically), someone came to feed (instruct) them spiritually. He is an ish (man/human) [v13], yet Joshua fell on his face to the ground, and did prostrate himself (something that they were clearly told NOT to do unless it is to the Lord God Almighty Himself) and said to Him, “What say you Adoni (the name that Hebrews only give to God Himself) to Your eved (servant)? [v14] Joshua, commander of Father God’s people, openly calls himself “servant” of this Commander who looks like a human. When you have any fragment of information about the Hebrew script and how serious this apparent “breach of their first and greatest commandment”, you would know how incredibly serious this is. So, who is He? Whoever He is, the ground on which Joshua stood was holy. [v15] Now, that may not sound terribly interesting if angels could cause the ground around them to be holy, and meeting an angel meant a holy encounter. However, in all the centuries of storyline, there was never a moment when a human was asked to take off their shoes except when Moses encountered the Lord God Almighty at the burning bush.[m]

I suggest that it is at this point that Father God begins to “unveil His Bread” in the form of a person. Without the “manna” (bread) to feed the nation, spiritual food must have replaced it. If it’s true that mankind does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord[n], then our Creator God’s Word is our “bread”. It’s from His mouth (His Voice/Word) that we are eternally sustained. But why does Joshua call this person Adoni, meaning: Lord, when that’s the name for Father God Himself.[o] And why is the ground holy, when it was only ever Holy once before – when the Lord God Almighty spoke to Moses?

The Creator God has given us soul food – bread/manna – and it’s available in limited quantities daily causing us to search for it, depend on it, and go out of our way to daily collect it.[p] It’s the only thing that will enable humans, who are mortal images of God, to live forever. That “manna” is His Word in our manufacturer’s manual – His Handbook for LIFE. The creator’s instructions for how to operate in His likeness – our mandated design from the beginning.[q] Like the manna in the wilderness in HIStory, His Word has come down to us from heaven – first in the words of the prophets written down and freely available for our spirits to “feed on” today.

Added to this, and from the earliest chapters before Israel had created a Nation State in the land of Israel, there had been a Person involved.[r]  Now He has shown up on centre stage again in today’s chapter, and this time more information is given about His eternal role. He is identified as Sar Tze’va Hashem. Now it is important for us non-Hebrew speakers to understand two things about the Hebrew script: there are no small words between the big words, and there’s no punctuation marks. This is extremely important information to know because our English translations have added these small word but unfortunately it can skew something vital woven into the text. In this case, if we leave the text exactly as it originally was, with three wards all capitalized, the result is a long title like you may see of kings in Malaysia for example today. This is exactly what this person said to Joshua…

“As Prince Ruler Leader Chief Chieftain Official Captain Master-of-Legions/Hosts/Angel Armies The Name – The Lord, am I now come.” [v14] He seems to look like a man – yet with a drawn sword conveys an immediate sense of divine being in the form of a man – someone to fear. [v13] And, as soon as He spoke – incredibly and quite shockingly – Joshua called Him Lord then bowed to the ground (lying flat out) before Him in servitude. If the awe of this moment doesn’t strike you, to top it all, this Word-Became-Flesh dwelt among us.[s]

CLICK to return to today’s “Daily Breadcrumbs”

[a] Exodus 14:26-29 (Context: Whole Chapter)

[b] Joshua 2:8-11

[c] Isaiah 40:12-14 & 55:8-9

[d] Romans 12:2

[e] Genesis 17:10-14

[f] Joshua 4:19

[g] Exodus 23:21a&22a

[h] Matthew 7:23

[i] Romans 2:25-29; 1 Corinthians 7:19; Galatians 5:6 & 6:13-15;

[j] Philippians 3:3 and Colossians 2:9-12

[k] Numbers 15:31; Ezekiel 5:14-15

[l] Exodus 16:11-14&31 (Context: Whole Chapter)

[m] Exodus 3:5 (See also Acts 7:33)

[n] Deuteronomy 8:3

[o] Joshua 6:2

[p] Exodus c16

[q] Genesis 1:26-28

[r] Exodus 23:20-22

[s] John 1:14

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