A New Beginning - Directions for this New Season of our Lives from Joshua 4 & 5

Andrew Fountain
Sun, 2022-02-06

Video cover image by maxpixel CC0 Public Domain

  • This story of a new beginning for Israel has a compelling message for our own lives as we move forward into a new season, with precise New Covenant parallels to the Old Covenant symbols.
  • If you have trouble viewing this video, you can try watching it directly on Vimeo
  • Play Audio

Sermon Slides - A New Beginning - Directions for this New Season of our Lives from Joshua 4 & 5


To encourage, challenge and direct us,
as we move out of the previous season and into a new one.

1. Past: Remember how God was with you

  • Background to this story
  • Two weeks ago I preached from Joshua 1 where God told Joshua to “Be strong and courageous” as he took over the leadership from Moses
  • This is the point where they have just crossed the Jordan are in the new land
  • I want to see what we can learn from the story about
    how to handle big changes in our lives, as we move from an old season to a new one

A New Beginning (Joshua 4 & 5)

  1. Past: Remember how God was with you
  2. Present: Covenant – Commitment & Celebration
  3. Future: Jesus is our captain and promises to lead us forward

Joshua 4

  1. When the entire nation was on the other side [of the Jordan], the LORD told Joshua,
  2. “Select for yourselves twelve men from the people, one per tribe.
  3. Instruct them, ‘Pick up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan,… and carry them over with you and put them in the place where you camp tonight.’ “
  4. And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal.
  5. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’
  6. then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’
  7. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over,
  8. so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.”
  • What specifically has God done for you in the season we are coming out of
  • Name the blessings specifically
  • What are you doing so as not to forget?
  • But the simplest thing is just to write it down
    • I want to encourage you, as soon as this sermon is over, to take some paper and write down as many things you can think of to thank God for in the last 2 years (and longer if you wish)
  • God wants us to be serious about remembering his blessings
    • Don’t brush this off—you should do this. It is a principle we learn from this story
  • What is the purpose of the stones? —to remind us to tell others!

2. Present: Covenant – Commitment & Celebration

Joshua 5

  1. At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the sons of Israel…”
  2. Though all the people who came out of Egypt had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out had not been circumcised.

Last Week: Circumcision

  • Seal of the covenant with Abraham. A picture of new creation
  • Fulfilled by the seal of the New Covenant: the seal of the Spirit
    • who circumcises our heart by renewing it and being present with us
    • Mark of dedication – we belong to God (A very similar idea to holiness)
  • So how does this text speak to us?

Equivalent for us today:

  1. Renew our dedication to God:
    • Pray for God to give you focus on your purpose this coming season
      and renew your commitment to living in the New Covenant
  2. Pray for his sealing power:
    • For a renewed filling of the Spirit and sense of his sealing presence.
  • We will pray for this for you at the end of this message, and also we want to continue doing it as we move into this new season
  • But what is this New Covenant? —Hebrews 6

Hebrews 8: the New Covenant

  1. …Look, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
  2. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not continue in my covenant and I had no regard for them, says the Lord.
  3. For this is the covenant that I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord.
  4. I will put my laws in their minds and I will inscribe them on their hearts.
    And I will be their God and they will be my people.
  5. And there will be no need at all for each one to teach his countryman or each one to teach his brother saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ since they will all know me, from the least to the greatest.
  6. For I will be merciful toward their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember no longer.

The New Covenant (Hebrews 8)

  1. God’s law written on our hearts
  2. We belong to him and he belongs to us
  3. No need for priests between us and God
  4. Our sins are all forgiven “I will remember them no more”
  • Celebration of the Passover - God has redeemed us and set them free

Joshua 5

  1. While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho.
  2. And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain.
  • We are going to celebrate breaking bread together at this time
  • This, the breaking of bread, Jesus gave us at the Passover with his disciples
  • It replaces the Passover meal
  • Yes, it looks back, but foremost it is about a present experience
  • Eating and drinking is very much a present felt experience.
  • In the same way Celebrating is something we do Now
  • Plus it has an aspect of the future:
    • A foretaste of heaven
    • A moment of heaven brought back into the now

Luke 22: Passover Meal

  1. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
  2. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
  3. Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves.
  4. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
  5. Then he took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
  6. And in the same way he took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

3. Future: Jesus is our captain and promises to lead us forward

Joshua 5

  1. When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?”
  2. He said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.”
    And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?”
  3. And the commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
  • What a perfect place to land on!

You are not alone

  • You don’t have to go into this new season by yourself, Jesus is with you and he is your strength
  • In your own strength you can’t do it, but you can in his!
  • live in dependence on our King, our Saviour and our Shepherd
  • So the final point is to live in dependence to our king, our saviour and our shepherd


To encourage, challenge and direct us,
as we move out of the previous season and into a new one.


  • Past: Commit to physically remembering how God was with you
  • Present: Renew your commitment to living for God,
    Pray for renewal of the Spirit’s sealing power & presence.
    Celebrate the amazing forgiveness, freedom and hope we have right now
  • Future: Jesus is our captain: turn from our own strength and live in dependence on our King, our Saviour and our Shepherd

Updated on 2022-02-06 by Andrew Fountain