Having miraculously crossed the Jordan River, Joshua is about to lead the children of Israel on their first battle to obtain the promised land. As Joshua is near to Jericho he sees a man opposite him with his sword drawn. Joshua asks him if he is for him or for the adversaries. To which the soldier says, He is the “Commander of the army of the Lord”. Joshua falls and worships and asks what The Lord would say to him. The Commander of the Lord’s Army said to, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy”, and Joshua did this, (Joshua 5:13-15).
Take a moment to read Joshua Chapter 5 specifically verses 13 – 15.
As Joshua is about to go into battle, he desperately needed instructions from God. What an encouragement to see the Captain of the Lord there in front of him and to be able to seek God’s clear directions. Many commentators on this passage believe that this “Captain of the Army of the Lord” was a Theophany – i.e. an Old Testament appearance of Jesus Christ. Indications of this are seen by the fact that the “Captain of the Lord” receives worship from Joshua, while the angel in the book of Revelation was not prepared to be worshiped by the apostle John, (Rev. 19:10; 22:8,9). Also note that the statement that this was holy ground and that the sandals were to be removed was similar to when Moses stood before God at the burning bush experience (Exodus 3).
Many times we too want and need God to speak His guidance. God was about to supply His Divine plan on how to capture the city of Jericho, but first there were some things that were needed. Joshua took time to worship (vs 14) and he needed to remove his sandals (vs 15).
It is noteworthy that Joshua instinctively worshipped God. He did not need to be challenged that if he wanted a message from God, or if he were to get help from God then he needed to worship. Worship was not an action done to obtain something, it was a response to the fact that he realized that God was present. As followers of Jesus Christ, He is always present with us, this means that we should always be in an attitude of worship and adoration towards Him.
But then Joshua was commanded to remove his sandals. This was a symbol of yielding to the Lord (see the last two day’s posts). Before the instructions for the next phase of Joshua’s life were given, there needed to be submission of heart motives, values, lifestyle, his whole being, unto the Lord. Before we can move into the next phase of our life or before we can properly use the gifts and abilities which God has given to us there needs to be fresh levels of submission unto His Lordship. (See Romans 12 where we are to present ourselves before The Lord before using the gifts and skills He has given us.)
Take some time to examine your actions, thoughts and values. Are you in a constant attitude of worship to The Lord who is constantly with you? Are there areas in your life that need to be yielded to His Lordship? Ask God to help you to live a life of worship and submission to Him.
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