Commander of the LORD’s Army

September 30, 2016 | Tags: ,

“I have now come as commander of the LORD’s army.”

-Joshua 5:14

Before Joshua and the Israelites are about to conquer Jericho, Joshua has an unusual encounter. Read below in Joshua 5:13-15:

13 When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua approached Him and asked, “Are You for us or for our enemies?”

14 “Neither,” He replied. “I have now come as commander of the Lord’s army.”

Then Joshua bowed with his face to the ground in worship and asked Him, “What does my Lord want to say to His servant?”

15 The commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.”And Joshua did so.

Let’s observe a few things about this scene.

  1. The man had a drawn sword in His hand.
  2. Joshua was able to approach Him, because he saw Him.
  3. Joshua was able to talk with Him and ask, “Are You for us or for our enemies?” In other words, whose side was this man on?
  4. The man answered, “Neither” and explained, “I have now come as commander of the Lord’s army.”
  5. Joshua reacted by bowing with his face to the ground in worship. Who was this man anyway and why would Joshua be worshipping Him?
  6. Joshua asked, “What does my Lord want to say to His servant?” Joshua’s question tells us who this man is. It is the Lord!
  7. The Lord answered, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” Joshua obeyed Him.

I find this scene remarkable for a number of reasons. First, in the Old Testament book of Joshua, we get one of the first glimpses of the Messiah. This is called a view of the pre-incarnate Christ. And what role does He reveal Himself as? Commander of the Lord’s army! Just as the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Services, so the Lord Jesus Christ is the commander of heaven’s army–an army of countless thousands of angels and other heavenly beings (see Revelation 5:11-12).

Second, we see the Lord’s response to Joshua’s question–“Are You for us or for our enemies?” And what does the Lord say to this? “Neither.” What is the meaning of this puzzling response? It means that the Lord does not come to take sides in our battles–He comes to take over. He comes to take over our marriages, our families, our work situations, and every other aspect of our lives where we face battles. As Commander of the Lord’s Army, He knows the only way peace will come is when every person acknowledges that He alone is God (Psalm 46:10) and allows Him to be the Lord of each individual life.

Finally, we can learn a lot from Joshua’s response once he realizes he’s standing before the Lord. He praises Him and acknowledges that He alone is Holy. I just love this. Doesn’t it free us from the burden of having to fight all by ourselves? Joshua’s response shows who is truly fighting our battles–the Lord. And we can be free to acknowledge that He is God and worship Him.

I pray this short Bible study encourages you today that our God is powerful and is in charge of a tremendous army. He has the best in mind for your situation, and His best will always point to His glory and His position as Lord. These battles exist to demonstrate to the world that He alone is God. Praise Him today that you have the Commander of the Lord’s army with you, just as Joshua did.

By Courtney Silberman

Revelation 19:11-16:

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. 12 His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on His head. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. 13 He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God. 14 The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. 15 A sharp sword came from His mouth, so that He might strike the nations with it. He will shepherd them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. 16 And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh:

KING OF KINGS

AND LORD OF LORDS.

 

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