13 “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.” (Joshua 5:13)
The phrase “looked up” conveys an element of surprise. When God walks onto the scene He does not come to take sides. He comes to take over! We are not to ask if God is on our side, but determine whether we are on God’s side.
The more appropriate question is, “Are we on the Lord’s side or against Him?” Today it is important as we face many battles – physically, emotionally, and spiritual that we make sure we are on the Lord’s side in all our endeavors.
The Lord WantsUs to Know His Holy Ground
“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.” (Joshua 5:15)
This is referred to as a “Theophany” or “Christophany.” This is Christ appearing 1,400 years before he appears in Bethlehem as a baby.
In shock, amazement, and awe Joshua flung himself face down before the Lord. Assuming that the Messenger had a message from God, Joshua asks that He deliver it.
We can understand that this is Jesus because:
- First, this messenger allows himself to be worshipped, angels never do.
- Second, Joshua was instructed to remove his sandals because he was on holy ground just as Moses had been instructed at the burning bush (Ex. 3:5).
We are not told what the message entailed but we can deduce it was details of how the war of conquest was to be waged. But the greatest significance of this meeting with the Commander-in-Chief of the Lord’s Army was that Israel would not be fighting alone.
The Lord’s Side Is Promised Victory
The Lord gave Joshua a huge promise in verse 6:2, “And the LORD said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.”
Notice the Lord proclaims Israel’s victory over the city of Jericho in the past prefect tense, as if it had already occurred (v.2). Victory is just as sure as if it had already happened.
We may lose a few battles along the way, but the Lord has already won the war, and as long as we are on the Lord’s side, we are winners. Jericho would become a “linchpin” in the conquest of Canaan. After seeing it fall, the Israelites could more easily believe that nothing would be impossible for them. God is good! Sometimes we all need a linchpin event.
Unless you have been living in cave, you have probably heard of Jeremy Lin. In just a few short weeks he has accomplished what many have wanted to do for Christians in China….encourage them. This is a story from the Baptist Press.
The sudden rise to fame of Taiwanese Christian NBA player Jeremy Lin has received the attention of many Chinese Christians, and has inspired many who face persecution in their Communist homeland, the Christian Post reports. Chinese media has largely stifled any mentions of Lin’s Christianity in covering his basketball play, typical of the government’s attempts to control religious practices, but Lin’s story has nonetheless caught the attention of Christians throughout the country. One Chinese Internet wrote, ” physical agility has shown me the glory and omnipotence of God.” Another wrote: “How should young Christians live the life of the Lord? We have a good example in Lin Shuhao’s miraculous performance and we should cheer him on.” Hu Shubang, a seminary student at Zhejiang Theological Seminary in Hangzhou, said Lin could become a symbol for Christians in China to use in seeking converts. “Just by his being a Christian, it is a fantastic way to broadcast the ways of Christ,” Hu said.
We never really know just how the Lord is going to use us and what impact our lives will have on others. We simply must be ready at all times. Find the Lord’s Holy Ground in your life and get on His side. Your Jericho awaits!