ODJ: leaving old things behind

June 22, 2015 

READ: Joshua 5:5-12 

The very next day they began to eat unleavened bread and roasted grain harvested from the land. No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again (vv.11-12).

The New Year can be a great time for a fresh start. That’s why 45 percent of people in North America make New Year’s resolutions. The problem is that by June—six months down the road—only 54 percent will have kept their resolutions, and the percentage drops to a dismal 8 percent by December!

Part of the problem is that while new beginnings can be easy, leaving behind old practices can be hard. Before the Israelites could experience a fresh start in the Promised Land, they had to leave two old things behind: flesh and old ways. God commanded all the young men to be circumcised, for their fathers had turned from Canaan in fear and then neglected to circumcise their sons in the wilderness. So the lack of circumcision represented their lack of faith and obedience, both of which dishonoured God, and had to be left behind before they entered the Promised Land (Joshua 5:6-9).

But that’s not all the Israelites had to do. They had to leave old ways behind. Joshua 5 marked the end of manna, the mysterious heavenly food that God had daily provided (v.12). Eating manna wasn’t sinful, but it had been the way He fed the Israelites in the wilderness. Now they were in Canaan and God was providing for them in a new way—through the fruit and crops of the land. So they had to leave the manna behind.

—Peter Chin

365-day-plan: John 4:43-54

Read Luke 5:36-39 and consider what Jesus said about new garments and wineskins. 
Do you ever find yourself praying or yearning for a fresh start in life? What has held you back from that fresh start in the past?