Thursday, April 8

Neither

Scripture: Joshua 5-6, Romans 11

Joshua 5:13–15  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 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.

Observation

On the eve of the first great battle to conquer the Promised Land, Joshua has an unexpected encounter with a messenger from God—a soldier standing with a drawn sword.  Joshua naturally asks, “Are you friend or foe?  For us or them.”  

“Neither,” he replies. That struck me!  He was for neither.  He was the commander of the Lord’s army!  It turns out that it was God’s battle, not Joshua’s, and that Joshua wasn’t the general in charge—this guy was!  

Some people think this was a theophany—an appearance of God in human form; a divine messenger like Jacob wrestling with the angel or Moses at the burning bush.  Hence, it was holy ground, and like Moses, Joshua removed his sandals.

Application

First, the battle is the Lord’s and it’s not a question of whether God is on our side, but if we are on His side!  Rather than asking God to take my side, I need to ask God what He wants to do and get on His side, get on His agenda!

Second, I’m not the general in charge; God is!  So often I see myself as the boss, the leader, the one calling the shots.  But if the battle is the Lord’s, then He is the general in charge.  I’m following His lead, not vice versa.  

So today, I want to face each obstacle, each problem by asking God what He wants to do and what my part is to work with Him.  I want to make sure I’m on His side rather than asking Him to be on my side.  I want to follow His lead rather than asking Him to follow me!

Prayer: Lord, help me not to run ahead of You, but to follow.  You are the Captain—not me.  I got here by following You, and I want to keep doing that!