For several months now, we've been singing Elevation Worship's song Mighty Warrior. The song celebrates the power, strength, and courage of our God. I want to share a passage from Joshua. In this scene, Joshua comes face to face with our Mighty Warrior. His response? Worship.
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?” “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?” 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.
There are a few takeaways from this passage. One is, we can know that The Lord is delivering a message to Joshua. He is reminding him of the strength and courage that he spoke of in Joshua 1. The commander is standing with his sword drawn. This implies action. If a sword is drawn, something is about to go down. If you keep reading, you see that the Israelites take Jericho shortly after and it was by a supernatural means…hence the army of God.
Two, something can be inferred from this commander…any time in scripture that someone bows down to a heavenly being (that isn’t Christ or God), they are immediately told to stand. It’s as though the angels are getting the point across that they don’t want God to miss out on any glory that he is due. This commander does not tell Joshua to stand. Instead, he tells him to take off his shoes for the ground he is on is holy. There are many that believe (me included) that this commander is Jesus himself…that’s why the ground was holy and that’s why he allowed Joshua to stay in a position of worship.
Third, God makes a clear statement that he is not for the glory of any man, nation, or cause. He is for the glory and honor of God. In responding to Joshua’s question, “Who are you for?” with the answer, “Neither”. He was making it clear that he was giving Joshua (and us) the opportunity to be on his side of the battle line.
Christ, the commander of the army of heaven, is still standing before us with his sword drawn. He has dealt the ultimate blow to Satan with his victory over sin and death on the cross. He is still standing, battle ready, before us his people and inviting us to join in the fray and stand at his side. We can take courage in knowing that our God is strong, mighty, and unstoppable.
I pray that God would allow all of us to see Him as the mighty and powerful warrior that He is. He is ready and able to deliver us from whatever temptation or trials we may face in this life. I pray that we would find rest and courage in knowing that God is standing before us. I pray that our response to the awesome greatness would be worship.