…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14
Joshua 5:13-15 (NIV)
13 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?”
14 “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?”
15 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.
When Joshua came to the first city in the promised land that the Israelites were to conquer,
he met the commander of the army of God … his burning bush experience.
The conversation they had is interesting.
“Are you for us
for our enemies?”
The commander of the army of God replied,
This is a very interesting answer, he was neither for Israel or Jericho (!?)
Why did he NOT say he was for the Israelites ?
After all, the Lord had directed them on this path to conquer the land, right ?
Perhaps, there is a question the commander was hoping Joshua would ask,
“Am I on the Lord’s side ?”
so often, we read God’s word, plans and purposes from our perspective,
less so from God’s perspective.
When we begin to see things from the Lord’s perspective,
things, situations, circumstances may look a little different 🙂
Yes it is true that God is for us.
Romans 8:31 (NIV)
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
God is for us,
when we are on God’s side.
Am I on the Lord’s side ?
Joshua 5:14,15 (NIV)
Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him,
“What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
15 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.
Like Joshua, let’s humble ourselves reverently before our Lord,
and cross over to God’s side.
Humbly take off our sandals … and enter God’s holy presence,
into the house of God.
Consider, Samson, after his Nazirite consecration vow was broken
Judges 16:20 (NIV)
Then she (Delilah) called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”
He awoke from his sleep and thought,
“I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.”
But he did not know that the Lord had left him.
Sadly, … the Lord had left Samson’s side,
and Samson did not know it.
In Deuteronomy 1, while in the wilderness,
the Israelites were told by the Lord to go up and fight the Amorites and possess the land. But they were unwilling; … unbelief in God’s power and presence.
26 “Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God; 27 and you grumbled in your tents and said, ‘Because the Lord hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, “The people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large and fortified to heaven. And besides, we saw the sons of the Anakim there.”’
Deuteronomy 1:26-28 (NASB)
The Lord then gave a new direction for the Israelites (Deuteronomy 1:40-42).
40 But as for you, turn around and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.’ Duetronomy 1:40 (NASB)
Hearing this, the Israelites changed their minds.
Then you replied, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, as the Lord our God commanded us.” So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country. (Duetronomy 1:41)
And the Lord’s response:
But the Lord said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because
I will not be with you.
You will be defeated by your enemies.’ (Duetronomy 1:42)
In the end, after 40 years in the wilderness, of that generation … only Joshua and Caleb went in and possessed the land, …. the rest perished in the wilderness.
God is impartial and just.
Back to the book of Joshua, after the awesome victory in Jericho (Joshua 6),
Israel lost the next battle in Ai (Joshua 7),
due to sin in Israel,
one man’s sin, Achan.
God takes His Word very seriously.
Let’s be humble,
revere His holiness,
sovereignty and grace,
don’t presume or assume,
as we seek Him to direct us,
… are we on the Lord’s side?
This was what the Lord said to Israel, on account of the battles ahead of them,
Deuteronomy 9:4 (NASB)
4 After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.”
it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you.
The truth is God ultimately works out His will,
rather than man’s plans or desires.
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
The Lord’s prayer helps put things in perspective,
Matthew 6:10 (NIV)
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Beginning with surrendering to the Lord, and trusting Him for His purposes to be done in our lives.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
Praying & trusting Him, He meets our daily needs.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Keeping our heart right with God.
God forgives us, as we also forgive others.
(see also Matthew 18:21-35, Parable of the unmerciful servant)
Hence, part of being on God’s side, … is forgiving others,
just as God forgives us.
Matthew 5:7 (NIV)
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
merciful, … pure in heart, … peacemakers
shown mercy, … see God, … children of God
In Joshua 5, The commander of the army of God replied,
The God who was
on Joshua’s side, in Israel
was the same God who was
on Rahab & her family’s side, in Jericho,
so, … the commander of the army of God was absolutely right 🙂
The faith of a whole Jewish nation,
30 It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.
The faith of one Gentile prostitute,
31 It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
God honored their faith in Him,
even though they were on opposing sides of the battlefield.
3 … God our Savior,
4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:3, 4 (NIV)
Am I on the Lord’s side?
22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” 23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her.
Rahab’s faith did not end here … her destiny was eternally changed by the grace of God.
Rahab became one of the Gentile women in the genealogy of Jesus,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
In conclusion, to be on God’s side,
reverence, holiness and faith in who He really is
and His awesome almighty power,
submitting to His plans and purposes.
by 林弟兄, bro Lim
December 29, 2015
Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
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