Israel Captures Jericho
13One day, Joshua was near Jericho when he saw a man standing some distance in front of him. The man was holding a sword, so Joshua walked up to him and asked, “Are you on our side or on our enemies' side?”
14“Neither,” he answered. “I am here because I am the commander of the Lord's army.”
Joshua fell to his knees and bowed down to the ground. “I am your servant,” he said. “Tell me what to do.”
15“Take off your sandals,” the commander answered. “This is a holy place.”
So Joshua took off his sandals.
Joshua looks up and sees a man with a drawn sword. It is not designated as a vision and Joshua does not treat it as a vision. He walks toward the man and speaks to him, asking him “Whose side are you on?” The one-word answer is pivotal to the story and to all of life. “Neither.” The question, as others have said, should be “Whose side am I on?” for we face Christ on holy ground, the Lord of history and the Lord of our lives.
When I am struggling in my family, trying to do what is right, trying to reach agreement with my spouse, whose side is Christ on? Shouldn’t he be on my side? I have reasons to offer after all. And at work I so often see what needs to happen and how that would prosper everyone, and ask, Why isn’t Christ helping me? Isn’t he on my side? And all of us have enemies – I have had my share. Isn’t it part of Christ’s love to make sure my enemies are sidetracked and that I emerge the winner? No. He is on neither side. He is the Lord, he has his plan and all his followers must concern themselves with one question: am I today willing to follow, willing to be obedient, am I willing to realize that the place where I am standing – right here in my home with my family, at my workplace, and in all my relationships, that this place is holy ground and I am to listen to Christ and follow him – period. He is, after all, the captain of the Lord’s hosts.
Father in Heaven, I so easily begin to think that your story is all about me and that everything that happens really should be for me. Today I want to discover that the treasures that you have for me are all found in Christ Jesus, and that they are mine to the extent that I am his. Let me be for Christ in all I am and do. Amen