WHO GOES THERE?
Lord, everywhere You stand is Holy Ground.
Read JOSHUA 5:13–15
The Fall of Jericho
13 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?”
14 “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[a] have for his servant?”
15 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.
‘Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God’ (Rom 8:39). Thank Him for this security.
This passage reminds me of a common movie scenario in which the guard spots a figure and calls out: ‘Who goes there, friend or foe?’ Joshua sees a man before him with sword drawn, ready to fight. Joshua’s question is obvious, yet the answer he receives is puzzling. To say that God does not take sides is difficult because He has already enabled the Israelites to inherit the (occupied) land, but the answer does identify a God who is ‘I AM’. This God does not answer to man’s demands. His actions ‘for’ or ‘against’ are determined by His will and our relationship to Him. God is for any who call on His name.
We have little doubt that this is God standing before Joshua. In Scripture, the worship of the angelic is forbidden (Rev 22:8, 9), and the presence of the Lord renders any location ‘holy ground’ (Exod 3:5). Joshua shows us the correct response in God’s presence, as he falls down in reverence and offers himself in God’s service. As humans, we like things to worship (statues, idols), and we tend to lean on inanimate objects to provide focus for our worship. The Ark of the Covenant has become one such object, sought by treasure hunters and clouded in unfounded mysteries, but here the message is clear: the box you’re carrying does not strictly contain God, any more than the cloud, fire, or the Holy of Holies. God is not restricted to a box. God is far bigger and is actively fighting for you – so who can be against you? How often we try to contain God by recruiting Him to fight for our cause. God cannot be contained, but sits on His throne above, undertaking for His people.
‘I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron’ (Isa 45:2). Are we trusting in ourselves or in God?
Lord, we thank You for recognizing our need to have You go before us, fighting those battles for which we desperately need You.
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