Falling Into Rank
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? ~Joshua 5:14
From an organizational and reporting standpoint, we do things by order of rank. We have supervisors, managers, and final decisionmakers whom we are accountable to. Regardless of our title and responsibility, we know that it is important that we fall into rank when it comes to those we report to. Joshua was Moses' successor leader over the nation of Israel. However, prior to conquering the land, Joshua had an important meeting that taught him Who was in charge.
We see Joshua’s surprise.
“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?” Just as Joshua had his eyes on approaching Jericho, he looked up and saw a surprising sight. There stood a distinguished man standing over against him with a sword drawn. Joshua did not recognize who this commanding figure was and asked, “Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?” He wasn’t sure who this man was, but he wanted to know on which side this man was on. To Joshua, this man represented either someone who wanted war or someone who came with a word. Either way, the visit was a surprise and was unexpected.
We see Joshua’s superior.
“And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.” The visitor responded by telling Joshua that He was Captain of the Lord’s host. This man was the Commander in charge of the Lord’s armies. Joshua knew immediately that he was standing in the presence of the Lord Himself. The word captain implies “a prince,” “a chieftain,” and “a chief leader.” The One Who stood before him was not a captain, but the Captain. The Lord made this timely appearance to Joshua not only to strengthen his faith, but to also let him know that He (the Lord) was still ultimately in control. Whenever we are to engage into a new area requiring faith and courage, we must never forget that the Lord must be the One Who is in charge and still leads the way for us. Is the Lord “Captain” in your plans, your challenges, and your difficulties?
We see Joshua’s submission.
“And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?” Joshua was a leader, but he knew the importance of being in submission. First, we see his humility. He fell to the earth. He lowered himself voluntarily to show his submission to the awesome presence of the Lord. Second, we see his homage. Joshua fell on his face for the purpose of worshipping the Lord. He was spontaneous to worship the Lord. We must be ready at all times to worship our Lord. Third, we see his handiness. He was ready to receive his orders from the Lord.
We see Joshua’s surrender.
The Lord told Joshua to loosen, or remove, his shoe from off his foot. God wanted to impress in Joshua’s heart that where he stood was holy ground. He was not to take the Lord’s presence or the command of the Lord lightly. Removing his shoe meant there was nothing between him and the Lord prior to taking on Jericho. Like Joshua, we must be completely separated to our Lord and the calling that He gives us. Nothing should stand between us and the Lord’s calling. No endeavor is successful unless we approach it in full reliance and surrender to His holiness and power. Joshua joyfully did what he was told to do. Are you teachable? Can you follow? Can you let the Lord lead you every step of the way?
Have a submissive God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 13-15