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God is the Commander of His Army

Is God for you or against you? I think this is an important question to ask, especially if we are desiring to know God and grow closer in relationship to Him. The verse in the Bible that speaks on this question is Joshua 5:13-15, which states:

13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood 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?”

14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” 15 Then the Commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.

The setting of this passage involves the beginning of Israel’s military campaign into the land that God promised them, of which Israel just crossed the Jordan river--a miracle where God stopped the water from flowing, and the Israelites crossed on dry land--and arrived at the heavily walled city of Jericho that was home to the Canaanites.

So, it was in this setting that Joshua was scoping out Jericho, probably plotting and trying to figure out a way to overcome the city’s defenses. It’s in this context we read verse 13, “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked…” Joshua’s eyes were looking downwards, either in thought or because he was sketching his plan out in the dirt, when he saw the Man before him. I think it is an interesting point that the Bible even mentions Joshua lifting his eyes. I think, in many ways, we all--when faced with great challenges and daunting tasks--tend to look downwards and begin plotting and planning on our own, rather than lifting our eyes.

1) Are you for me, or against me?