21–27 May 2017.
One of the interesting things about looking at old photographs is seeing how much things have changed. But in the past it wasn’t just people’s clothes and homes that were different, their lives were very different too. Without today’s computers, medicine, and even electricity people really had to suffer through a lot. When we look back at very old photos we realize just how much better things have become.
Of course, that’s not to say that things are perfect now. But we hope that through our hard work and wise decisions we too can leave behind a world that is a better place for those who come after us. Those of us who are parents especially know this feeling and this hope. Every day we try our hardest to hold our children up high and give them the best chances in life, so that they may go on to live a life that’s better than ours. As parents, we want our children to do better than we did, to succeed where we failed, to avoid the mistakes we made, and to enjoy life more than we did.
In Joshua 5, the Israelites had this same hope. Looking back, the generation that left Egypt went through so many troubles, made so many terrible mistakes, and suffered so much. But their hope was that the next generation would have it better. So now at the edge of the promised land the time has come to make a new start. Joshua circumcises all the men in this new generation as a sign that they are now taking over from their parents. This will now be a new generation of people for God, living in a new land, and with a new beginning. But most importantly, they also have a new hope: a hope that their lives will be better, that they won’t make the same mistakes their parents did, and that they won’t have to face the same hardships their parents faced. This is a new beginning, so in v. 9 God says that he is rolling away the shame of the people, leaving their past behind them.
No matter which country we come from, all parents have this same hope: that our children will live a better life than we did. I pray that through God’s power and grace, we may all see our children achieve that goal.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis