A Drawn Sword
Pray through Romans 8:31–39, thanking God for all he has won for you.
Read Joshua 5:13-15
 Now 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 went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”  “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”  The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn what way is God’s judgement shown?
God’s holiness demands judgement. The Promised Land is a gift; it is also a judgement. Leviticus 18 emphasizes that the land had been defiled by its inhabitants, and that Israel is bringing God’s judgement (24,25). But the gift of the land to Israel is tied to covenant obedience, and the same standards of holiness apply to them as to the Canaanites (Leviticus 18:3–5,27,28). Measured against those standards, God’s people will eventually lose it in judgement themselves (2 Kings 17:16–23).Here divine judgement is symbolized by the presence of the commander of the Lord’s army. We don’t know who this is, though he’s clearly an authoritative representative of God. He has come with his sword drawn – ready, in other words, for war, accompanied by the hosts of the Lord. When challenged by Joshua to declare his allegiance, the commander states that he is for neither side (14). He stands for the Lord’s holiness, and challenges Joshua to remember that even the land on which he stands is holy (15).This conquest might seem to be about land, but to God it’s about restoring holiness to the land and seeking a nation to live reverently as his priests (Exodus 19:5,6).
Without the cross of Christ, we would all face the “drawn sword” of God’s judgement. Thank God for Jesus.
Jesus, thank You that You took the wrath of God on Yourself that all who turn to You might be set free.
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