05/19/2020 – Preparing for Battle
Joshua and nation of Israel have just crossed the Jordan River and are preparing to possess the land the Lord promised Moses He would give them.
Joshua 5:13a – “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.”
The man was obviously a soldier. But he wasn’t just dressed for battle, he was standing there as if the battle had already begun. His sword had been taken out of its sheath and he was ready to use it.
Joshua 5:13-14: “Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’ ‘ Neither,’ he replied, ‘but as commander of the Lord’s army I have now come.’ Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence, and asked, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servants.” It’s clear from this passage that the one Joshua saw was not an ordinary man and He was more than an angel.
For one thing, in the Bible, “angels” are always referred to as “angels.” This “man” identified himself as the “commander of the army of the Lord.” That is the title given to “the Lord of Hosts,” ADONAI , the Lord God Almighty,God Himself.
Secondly, “Joshua fell face down in reverence.” He worshipped this “man” and was not rebuked for doing it. The Lord is the ONLY one who may be worshipped.
Third, Joshua calls the man, “my Lord,” meaning “master,” and refers to himself as, “his servant.” That’s not something you would ever say to an angel.
Finally, in Joshua 5:15 – “The commander of the Lord’s army replied, ‘Take off you sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” That’s what Moses was told to do when God spoke to him from a burning bush. (Exodus 3:5) “God is Spirit”(John 4:24) Moses was in the presence of an invisible God “who lives in unapproachable light,”(1 Timothy 6:16) but Joshua was in the presence of God who appeared in the flesh. Jesus is the Lord of Hosts. He is the commander-in-chief of the Army of the Lord. (Revelation 19:11-16)
WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON, ours or theirs? “Neither.” I’m not here to take sides. I’m here to take over. “As commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” God is not on OUR side. If we want to be victorious, we have to be sure we’re on HIS side. He is the Lord of Hosts, the Commander. He plans the strategy and He gives the orders. We’re either WITH Him or we’re AGAINST Him. (Matthew 12:30) So, pick a side. The battle is not ours, it’s His
A consecrated life is no longer MY life. It’s completely, 100%, His life. He bought it with a price. (1 Corinthians 6:20) A consecrated life belongs exclusively to Jesus and He really does have a plan. He really does have a strategy. He really does have a message for His people. His ways are nothing like our ways and when He tells us His way, He expects us to listen. When He shows us His way, He expects us to accept it, even though we think our way is better and it’s not the way we’ve done things before.
Joshua 6:1 – “Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.” The city was completely shut up and locked down and it was because of the Israelites. But the Israelites had no way of knowing that. It all seemed so terrifying and impossible to them from the outward appearance. But, everything seems terrifying and impossible to us when we fix our eyes on what we see, instead of fixing our eyes on Jesus, (Hebrews 12:2)
Israel had no idea that behind those enormously high walls and thick gates, there was a terrified army that had heard how Israel’s God brought them through the Red Sea and across the Jordan River. They were not looking forward to finding out what Israel’s God was planning to do to them.
Satan may not be afraid of US, but he IS afraid of the one standing in front of us with a drawn sword in His hand. He’s there! Don’t forget that. Never lose sight of the fact that, whatever we’re going through, Jesus is always standing there in front of us with a drawn sword in His hand to make sure we conquer and overcome. Nothing formed against us will stand. (Isaiah 54:17)
Joshua 6:2a – “Then the Lord said to Joshua…” The strategy for overcoming, the plan for becoming more than a conqueror rests entirely on what the Lord says. Everything we do together has to be anchored in and faithful to the word of God, the Bible. The word of God reveals truths to our hearts that our human eyes cannot see, and our rational minds choose to ignore. The word of God creates a faith within us that overrides and defies all the fears and anxieties our human imagination and understanding struggles to create.
Everything in the Bible is God-breathed, God-inspired, infallible, unchangeable, and true. Nothing else can be trusted to produce a satisfying, productive, victorious, and ever-lasting life. We know we’re going to win before the battle even gets started. God’s word has guaranteed it for us, and nothing can change it. We will not lose because God cannot be defeated. If we’ve picked the right side, we know we’re going to win but the victory won’t come without a fight.
Joshua 6:2b – “See, I have delivered Jericho INTO YOUR HANDS. along with its kings and its fighting men.”
The Lord doesn’t keep us from the enemy or shield us from the damage the enemy can cause. By faith, He wants us to see that He has delivered the enemy into our hands. We put on the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:11) Then when we’re face-to-face, nose-to-nose, eyeball-to-eyeball with the devil and his angels, He tells us to take our sword of faith, stand firm, and “resist.”(James 4:7)
As long as our lives are completely surrendered to Jesus, we’ll continually be engaged in spiritual warfare. We’ll constantly be fighting to possess the abundant life Jesus came to give us because the enemy wants to stop us from living it. It’s time for the battle to begin and, Lord willing, we’ll look at that next Tuesday. I hope these studies are meaningful, relevant, helpful, and worth the time spent reading them. Love hearing from you. Invite a friend to get in God’s Word with Pastor Buj.