Joshua has just led the Israelites across the Jordan and is now 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?’ ‘Neither’ he replied, ‘but as commander of the Lord’s army I have now come.’” Joshua asks a two-way question based on the categories of his fears and concerns, it is a question centred on himself where both “us” in “our enemies” are defined in terms of him. The answer Joshua gets negates the categories he has asserted based on himself and creates a third category which stands without reference to Joshua or his enemies, namely “the Lord’s army.” Is God giving you an answer outside of the categories that you are asking? Is he simply saying “I am here?”

Joshua’s response to this answer is recorded, “Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence, and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’” Joshua is overcome with worship and reverence towards God, but he is still asking for information – presumably in connection with what he should do. The answer he gets is not what Joshua was expecting: “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.” A deeper level of reverence and worship was called for as the presence of the commander of the Lord’s army made the ground holy. Joshua asks no more questions, he simply obeys.

Amid our questions of life and direction, is He simply telling us that He is here and calling us to a deeper level of reverence and worship?

With much blessing,

Roland

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