“The Supreme commander”
Devotion in Motion
“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries? ”So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him“ What does my Lord say to His servant? ”Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.
The end of chapter 5 marks a turning point for Joshua… If I were to ask you who led the children of Israel in the battle of Jericho? You would remember the old spiritual, “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho”, and you’d say, “Joshua” – but you’d be mistaken. The answer will surprise you! Verse 13 “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho…”
General Joshua was on a reconnaissance mission. He was scouting out the city. The walls of Jericho were enormous. There were actually two walls – the first wall was 6’ thick and 11’ high. The outer wall was 12’ thick and 35’ high. And the slope of the wall had a 35 degree incline that made it nearly impossible to scale. Joshua was thinking, “How will we ever conquer these formidable walls?” That’s when “he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand.” He was armed and ready to fight.
“And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” Joshua is fulfilling the role of a good sentry. In essence he confronts the approaching soldier, and shouts, “Who goes there? Are you friend or foe?” So He said, “No, (or neither) but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” The Commander answers, whether I’m friend or foe depends on your response. The question is not, “Am I on your side?” But, “Are you on God’s side?”
So often we hope God is on our side, but the real question is always, “Am I on God’s side?” God calls the shots, not me. God is Commander and Chief, not me. Joshua is being told here to move over. Heaven has come to help. Joshua is being replaced. God dispatches His Commander to lead the Hebrews into battle.
“And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”
A humble Joshua is quick to submit. General Joshua recognizes military rank, and respects a higher command.
Joshua 5:13” “Then the Commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.” Notice, Joshua receives the same command God gave Moses at the burning bush.
Joshua is meeting God, just as Moses met God on top of Mount Sinai.
What a comfort this must’ve been to Joshua and Israel. On the eve of their first major battle – up against impenetrable walls – the Commander of the Lord’s army comes to take responsibility for the campaign. And who was this Commander?
The clue is in how Joshua treats Him – he worships Him.
This means he could not have been an angel. Because according to revelation 22:8-9 “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. [b]For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God. ”Angels are never worshipped for they are our fellow servants. Only God is supposed to receive worship. That’s why I believe this Commander was none other than a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus.
Who fought the battle of Jericho? Jesus did!
And who fights the battle in the Christian life? Jesus is also our Commander.
Whether it’s a slit in the rock on Mt. Sinai, or as a lookout under the palm trees near Jericho – God turns ordinary places and ordinary times into holy moments. Wherever God is is Holy Ground, and where is he, everywhere. He is Omni-present, present everywhere at all times. “Psalm 139”.
When we face an enemy or foe that is too big for us to handle, God is faithful to meet us and remind us that the battle is not ours, but His… He wants us to acknowledge rank. Bow, obey, and worship.
Joshua was about to go against an impregnable fortress and an unbeatable foe and yet he was to give it up and trust the Lord to fight for him and Israel. Are you up against something today that seems unbeatable. Do what Joshua did and go spend some time with the commander of the Lord’s army. Tell him about your concerns and wait for instructions. Those moments are holy moments, when we take off our sandals and submit to the Lord in all things. But how am i going to do the impossible, look at what I am going against! Well the Lord might be telling you today–Take off those dirty sandals of pride, that which you have relied upon to get things done, and submit, bow and worship through prayer.
Then even those things that seem impossible, those things that seem unbeatable somehow supernaturally become hope in us. Jesus is saying to Joshua, This battle is too big for you–I will take care of it, I will get you through it.
“Funny The Rules of Combat”.
1) If the enemy is in range, so are you. 2) Incoming fire always has the right of way. 3) The easy way is always mined. 4) Try to look unimportant, the enemy may be firing at brass. 5) Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy someone else to shoot at. 6) Don’t draw fire – it irritates the people around you. 7) When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend. 8) Five second fuses only last three seconds. 9) It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed – You won’t be welcome!” And # 10, “If it’s stupid but works, it isn’t stupid.”
Number 10 is how Joshua must’ve felt after the battle of Jericho. God was faithful to meet Joshua in a difficult time and God is faithful to meet us in our hardest times and remind us that the battle is not ours, but His… He wants us to acknowledge rank. Bow, obey, and worship. But 1st we need to take off our sandals of pride
“Many would be scantily clad is dressed in humility”
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