I love to read passages of the Bible where God appears to man. If you haven’t read through the Bible, you may be surprised how many times this happened.
Joshua 5 and 6 contains one of these passages. In Joshua 5:13-15 we see that a man is standing before Joshua with his sword drawn. At first, Joshua doesn’t seem to know who the man is.
Joshua goes up to him and says,
“Are you for us or for our adversaries?”
Instead of answering one way or the other, the man says,
“No. But I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.”
Interestingly, He says, “I am,” which is the eternal name of God. (Exodus 3:14) He states that He is God. And, the following verse verifies this, as Joshua understands who He is and falls on his face to the Earth and worships. If the man had been an angel, he would have said, “Do not worship me.”
“The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, ‘Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.”
(This is the same thing God had said to Moses when He spoke to him from the burning bush. See Exodus 3:5)
This appearance of God to Joshua happens when the people have just consecrated themselves after crossing the Jordan. Part of that consecration included circumcision for the males, and they had to have a time of waiting while they were healing. Now God Himself, the commander of Heavenly Hosts, comes to command the armies, and they are to follow His leadership.
I think it’s interesting to note that the Lord appeared and lead them to this victorious breakthrough only after their consecration and dedication, while they were waiting in faith, and the walls came down only after they obeyed, marched silently, and then gave the war cry.
Yes, they totally gave the war cry while the walls were still standing! That had to have taken a lot of faith! Because what if…what if the walls didn’t actually come down? Then they would have looked like a bunch of total fools! Their faith and their obedience went hand in hand, and then,
God brought the walls down!
I think there are spiritual parallels here that we can draw in our lives.
Do you or I have walls that need to come down before we can experience a breakthrough?
- We need to consecrate our lives to God by humbling ourselves before Him, repenting of our sins, asking Him to cleanse us by the blood of Jesus Christ.
- This process of cutting sin out of our lives can be painful, and we may need to wait on God for healing.
- As we wait in faith, we need to be looking and listening for the Lord’s direction.
- When He gives the go ahead, we march forth in obedience by faith, before we actually see the victory with our eyes.
- God is strong enough and big enough to give us even the most impossible breakthroughs! He still does miracles!
Something else that our pastor pointed out in a sermon on this passage was that the younger generation had to take ownership and responsibility and be mature.
Their parents had rebelled against the Lord in the wilderness. Their parents were stumbling blocks to the faith of their children.
Their children had to wait to receive the promises until after their parents had all died in the wilderness. But finally, their wait was over!
I think it’s important for us to note that we cannot blame our parents for our sin and for our refusal to obey God.
We stand or fall before God for our own actions.
Maybe our parents have been a terrible example. Maybe they have abused us.
Maybe someone else who was supposed to be representing God abused us. But they will fall before God. They will pay the consequences for their own sin.
God wants to bless you and me. He wants to give us of His goodness.
But we must consecrate ourselves and obey Him.
Then He will come to us as commander of His angelic armies to fight for us and give us victory over the enemy!
Praise the Lord for His beautiful word from His beautifully loving Spirit!
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