Holiness and Humility
Almighty God, You are the source of all I have and am. May I serve You today in humble gratitude.
Read Joshua 5:13-15
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.
“We are standing on holy ground, for I know that there are angels all around. Let us praise Jesus now, for we are standing in His presence on holy ground” (Geron Davis).
Joshua’s mysterious, abrupt encounter with the unnamed man echoes Jacob’s wrestling with the angel (Gen. 32:22-32) and Moses at the burning bush (Exod. 3:1-4:17). Like them, Joshua faces a critical situation, the forthcoming conquest of Jericho, and needs divine reassurance. Without wrestling like Jacob or arguing like Moses, Joshua merely challenges and asks questions. He does not struggle like Jacob or make excuses like Moses, but accepts the task before him and awaits instructions. You are not supposed to argue with a drawn sword (Num. 22:23; 1 Chron. 21:16)!
We may not meet an angel as we go into battle, but the principle still holds. We often need to hear a word of encouragement, advice, rebuke or direction from God, who uses many means to alert us to his purposes. The Scriptures, the teaching we receive or the warmth of the community of faith around us, all help us be sensitive to God’s guidance. Here Joshua encounters the commander of the army of the Lord, an angelic being whose presence will be necessary for the success of the military actions to follow. Without God’s presence and blessing, Joshua’s mission will fail. He must recognize that his strength will come from being in a right relationship with God.
That’s why the holy ground is so important. Just as with Moses (Exod. 3:5), God’s commission to Joshua calls for humility that is represented by his prostration and the removal of his sandals. Rabbi Hillel, who lived some 50 years before Jesus, said “My humility is my greatness, and my greatness is my humility.” He implies that it is only when we truly humble ourselves before God (and others) that we can achieve the tasks he has called us to, and develop our lives and characters to bring him glory.
How do you experience God’s presence and guidance with you today? How do you respond in holiness and humility?
Heavenly Father, remind me I cannot breathe a breath, think a thought, nor work creatively without Your permission and presence.
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