Father God, how good it is to have this time with You and to read and reflect on Your Word!
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 Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWho was it that spoke to Joshua here?
This seems like a strange interlude in the story. It reminds us of other moments of holy encounter–face-to-face meetings with the Lord or his messenger–in the Old Testament: Abraham at the oaks of Mamre (Gen. 18), Jacob at the Jabbok (Gen. 32) and Isaiah in the Temple (Isa. 6). What is the purpose of such encounters? They are moments when God establishes beyond any doubt who is in control. He sets the agenda. That is so here, too, as Joshua meets the commander of the army of the Lord (14). His question (13) is entirely reasonable: whose side are you on? But the reply he gets must have stunned Joshua: “neither.” He is on God’s side, and God’s alone. Joshua doesn’t get much of an answer to his second question either (14). He gets no instruction for the next stage of the campaign, only a simple command to take off his shoes as he’s already fallen face down on the ground. This is a simple but profound call to holiness and commitment, to let God be God, and to give him the first place that is his due.
We mustn’t try to recruit God to our causes, but dedicate ourselves to his. Commit yourself afresh to God’s causes.
Lord, I want to always be on Your side, not so concerned if You are on mine! Keep me focused on Your will and ways.
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