Whose Side Are You On?
Joshua 5:13-6:5; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 487-491
We can worship our awesome God every day.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1).
Have you ever had part in a program? I mean a really big program in a church with hundreds of seats? You feel important practicing for the program. You mustn’t make any mistakes! But then you worry so much that you nearly forget your part. That is about how Joshua felt after Moses died.
Joshua walked between the rows of tents. He smiled at the families he passed, but he didn’t stop to talk. He needed some exercise. He needed time alone to think. So many amazing things had happened in the past few days.
Joshua quickly reached the edge of the camp. His steps got even longer as he headed back across the fields. He walked on until he had a good view of the Jordan River. Then he stopped and just looked. The river was flooded and dangerous. But the Israelites were all safely across and in the Promised Land. Once again their awesome God had seen them through.
The people had just finished celebrating the Passover. Soon it would be time to move on. But moving on was 54scary. The Israelites had powerful enemies in this new land.
As Joshua slowly turned in a circle, he studied the great walled city of Jericho. Big, tall walls. Thick walls. How small the Israelite camp looked with Jericho’s walls towering above them. Joshua had no idea what to do. How was he going to lead the army of Israel against that mighty city? They had no fancy weapons of war. Joshua shuddered to think of his poorly trained soldiers. They were not ready for battle.
Suddenly someone stood in front of Joshua, holding a sword. Joshua stepped boldly up to him. “Whose side are you on?” Joshua asked, “ours or our enemies?” If he were an Israelite soldier, he had some explaining to do! Joshua had not told any of his soldiers to leave camp. If the stranger were an enemy, Joshua was ready to fight.
“Neither,” the man answered. “I am here as the Commander of the Lord’s army.”
Suddenly Joshua realized that this was no ordinary soldier. This was the Lord Himself! Joshua fell at His feet in worship. “I am Your servant, Sir. What do You want me to do?”
“Take your sandals off. You are standing on holy ground,” the Commander replied.
Joshua removed his sandals and worshipped the Lord. What a relief! Joshua had been thinking about battle plans.
He had imagined there was to be a war, and he would be the general in charge. But now he learned that the battle was the Lord’s. The plans were already made, and the Lord was in charge. Joshua did not have to bear the heavy responsibility of leadership all alone. The Lord was here! His awesome God was with him!