Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Battle is Still The Lord’s

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 Submitted by Van Houser

Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" He said, "No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?" The captain of the LORD'S host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.  Joshua 5:13-15 NASB

The Battle is Still The Lord’s

In Joshua 5, the children of God are ready to begin their conquest of Canaan but standing in their way was the most heavily fortified city of the ancient world, Jericho.  While this battle was God’s act of breaking His people out of the bondage of the desert, it is also a picture of how he also destroys fortresses that stand in our way as believers.  Romans 8:37 says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  Too many people read that “we are conquerors” without recognizing how that occurs.  In the story of the battle of Jericho, there are several important keys we must have in our possession, if we are to unlock the door to the victorious Christian life.

On the night before the battle for Jericho, Joshua like any of us, had trouble sleeping so he took a walk to review his battle plans.  As he looked at Jericho in the distance, he thought about how many ladders, battering rams, archers, and foot soldiers he would need to deploy, and then a mysterious man stepped out of the shadows, with a drawn sword.  Joshua didn’t recognize this soldier so, he asked, “Are you on our side, or their side?” And as the late Dr. Adrian Rogers said, "The soldier said, I didn’t come to take sides–I came to take over!”

This mysterious man then identifies himself as the Captain of the Lord’s Army, but just who was this soldier?  Some scholars say it was a Mighty Angel like Michael or Gabriel, but I join the ranks of those who say this is one of those pre-incarnate appearances of the Lord Jesus.  Now the evidence for this position comes from:

1.    Joshua’s reaction when he realized who was before him and fell face down in worship.  You don’t worship angels.

2.    This commander accepts Joshua’s worship, inferring he is of divine origin.

3.    This commander told Joshua to take off his shoes, because he was standing on holy ground.  The last time we read those words, was when God spoke them to Moses at the burning bush.

We learn from this encounter that victory was in the hands of the Lord, not men.  While “we are more than conquerors” it is “through Him loved us.”  When Joshua fell on his face before the pre-incarnate Jesus, the lord told him that the battle was already won.  In Joshua 6:2 the mysterious commander who appeared before Joshua said, “See, I have delivered [past tense] Jericho into your hands.”  When Joshua got on his face, it was a done deal and the same is true for us!!  The beginning of all spiritual victory is on our faces before Jesus, our great captain!

Scripture to Claim:

“…This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” I John 5:4-5

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