Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
I absolutely love the story found in the Book of Joshua regarding the Israelites marching around the walls of Jericho. Based upon the command of the Lord, they quietly (except for the blowing of trumpets) marched around the city walls six times. On the seventh time they were instructed to shout loudly, resulting in the walls collapsing to the ground.
It’s a pretty amazing story. You can read about it in Joshua 6.
However, I want us to back up just a few verses into chapter 5 and see something perhaps even more amazing. I believe it’s the real reason the walls fell down. It serves as a solid foundation for why success was granted to the children of Israel in the city of Jericho. AND I believe it is the basis for any amount of victory you and I have in our lives.
In 5:13-15 we read of Joshua’s encounter with a man with a sword in hand. Joshua rightly wondered if the man was on their side or on the enemies side. That’s a fair question. In other words “Are you gonna kill me or join me?”
The man’s response was startling: “Neither, but as the commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”
OK. That’s interesting (and admittedly a bit cryptic!).
What happened next tells us a lot about the entire situation. Joshua fell to his face and worshipped. And it needs to be noted…he WAS NOT STOPPED.
Friends, the man with the sword, many believe, was none other than the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ. We believe this to be the case because Joshua wasn’t stopped in his worship. In other instances throughout the Bible where there was an angelic visitation that wasn’t the case.
So, hello to Jesus in the Old Testament!
The final verse in this chapter serves as the basis for the victory that was experienced in the city of Jericho. Joshua is told to take off his sandals because the place he was standing was holy. He was encouraged to continue worshipping and invited to further acknowledge the sovereignty and authority of God. This was a recognition of God’s power over their enemies. It’s was a submission to his plan and purposes.
What we read next is key: “And Joshua did so.”
He did so. He took off his Birkenstocks, because he was in the midst of holiness.
He did not delay to obey.
How about you?
Are you looking for a victory in a particular area? Are you wondering if Jesus is for you or against you? Are you facing walls of opposition or the work of the enemy and not sure what to do?
I don’t mean to make this overly simplistic nor formulaic, however, I do believe strongly that we are to OBEY what God tells us, and watch what God does as a result of, and response to, that obedience.
And Joshua did so. Will you?
Grace & Peace,