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Thursday, October 04, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Thu, 10/4/2012

Joshua 5:13-15


While there is an image of a shepherd in this passage, there is also the image of Sovereign Lord. This text reveals the problems, perils and pitfalls of leadership, but it also draws our attention to the idea of lordship. Even though Joshua was the leader of the people, he himself was under the lordship of God Almighty.

These verses identify and clarify the person and the power of the One Joshua encountered outside Jericho that day.

The Lord’s Posture - When Joshua encounters this man, He is said to be standing, “with His sword drawn in His hand.” It is the picture of a Person ready for battle. This is not the image of some passive observer of events. This is the image of Someone Who is ready to make something happen. It is the image of man Who has come ready for a fight. It is the image of someone Who is ready to take on the enemy.
I would just remind you today that God does not react to events that take place in our human world. He is not sitting in Heaven waiting to see what we will do first, so that He can decide how to respond. No, He is in control of both the actions and the reactions. He already knows what we are going to do, and He has already made His plans accordingly.

• Isa. 46:9-11 - “9Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”

• Eph. 1:11, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”

• Psa 115:3, “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”

• Dan 4:3, “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

These verses, and others, make it clear that our God is in control of all the affairs of life. He is always ready, in every situation, because He has decreed all events that come to pass. That is why He is never surprised by life. We are often surprised by the various turns in the road of life. God is never caught off guard. He never has to resort to “Plan B.” He never has to alter His will. He is never left at a loss as to what to do, because He is God and He is ever in control of all things!

The Lord’s Position - When Joshua encounters this man, Joshua does not know who he is, so he asks Him. Joshua asks, “Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?” The man’s answer must have taken Joshua by surprise. The man says, “Nay; but as the captain of the Lord’s host am I now come.” In other words, the man answers Joshua by saying, “I did not come to take sides in this battle; I came to take over.”

His answer tells us exactly Who this Man is. It is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It is a pre-Bethlehem appearance of the Lord. This is not the first time He appeared in this world, and this will not be the last time He appears either.

He appeared to Hagar, Gen. 16:7-14; Gen. 21:16-20
He appeared to Abraham, Gen.18:10
He appeared to Jacob, Gen. 28:12-15; Gen. 32:24-30
He appeared to Moses, Exod. 3:4-5; Exod. 23:20; Exod. 33:22
He appeared to Gideon, Judg. 6:11-24
He appeared to Isaiah, Isa. 6:1-13
He appeared to three young Hebrews in the fiery furnace, Dan. 3:24-25
He appeared to Daniel, Dan. 6:21-22; Dan. 7:13-14; Dan. 10:5-6
He appeared to the prophet Zechariah, Zech. 1:8-13; 2:8-11; 3:10; 6:12-15

It must have encouraged Joshua to realize that he was not alone. There is a certain loneliness in leadership that can be discouraging and depressing when you consider how much impact your decisions have on others. Harry Truman once said, “To be President of the United States is to be lonely, very lonely at times of great decisions.” Surely Joshua felt that same sense of being alone. What a comfort it must have been to him to know that God, Who had promised to be with Joshua, Josh. 1:5, 9, had kept that promise! Joshua was not alone; the Lord was with Him!

By the way, that is a promise He intends to keep to you too. He has promised you that He will ever be with you as you face the ups and downs of your life, Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5. The same Lord Who stepped out of eternity to move in the lives of His people in the past, is the same God Who intends to do the same thing for you. You are not alone; the Lord is with you!

The Lord’s Power - The Lord identifies Himself as “the captain of the host of the Lord.” That is, Joshua could not see, but there was a vast army of heavenly warriors camped about him, ready to take on the people of Canaan. The implication is clear: Israel would not face their enemies alone; they would face them aided by the armies of Heaven. Joshua now receives the assurance that the Lord is about to engage in this battle and that victory is assured.

There is a spiritual realm around us that we cannot see. In that hidden spiritual dimension, there are angels and there are demons. Those spiritual beings are continually waging war in the battle of good against evil. That invisible host aided Elisha, 2 Kings 6:14-17. That invisible host struck fear into the hearts of the Assyrian army, 2 Kings 7:5-7. That invisible host protected the city of Jerusalem and destroyed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night, 2 Kings 19:35.

The same power that came to the aid of Israel in Jericho, and the same power that came to the aid of Israel time and again, is the same power that surrounds you today. Our Lord is still the Captain of the Lord’s host and He still fights battles on behalf of His people.

All these truths serve to remind us that our God is a sovereign God. That simply means that He is in control of all things, of all people, at all times. He is the Lord both in time and in eternity. He is in charge and he can be trusted to take care of you!

“The Battle Belongs To The Lord” By Jamie Owens-Collins (1985)

In heavenly armour we'll enter the land
The battle belongs to the Lord
No weapon that's fashioned against us shall stand
The battle belongs to the Lord
And we sing glory and honor Power and strength to the Lord
And we sing glory and honor Power and strength to the Lord

When the power of darkness comes in like a flood
The battle belongs to the Lord
He's raised up a standard, the power of His blood
The battle belongs to the Lord

When your enemy presses in hard do not fear
The battle belongs to the Lord
courage my friend, your redemption is near
The battle belongs to the Lord


Merciful Father, Almighty God! Help us to forget what lies behind us, and help us as we strain forward to what lies ahead. Enable us to press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly calling of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Forgive our preoccupation with our own wounds and our ignoring of Your marvelous grace. Use our scars in Your service and to Your glory. This we ask and pray in Jesus’ Redeeming name. Amen!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you Vic for a great lesson that came a day after a had a down day and felt defeated. It was great to be reminded that God is in control of everything. I know now that I must place my high potassium problem at the feet of God and ask for His help in overcoming this. Thank you again Vic for your lesson, hymn and prayer. You are certainly a man of God. Thank you for the goodies and notes.
    May God be with you as you make a decision on Monday. Praying for you.
    1965 days ago
  • IAM_HIS2
    Vic: This is such a powerful blog. "God is in control of everything" You gave me what I very much needed to be reminded of minutes after you posted this. Your words of truth pulled me away from needless concern.

    Our God is in control and everything will be done affording to His will for each of us. Oh, what a reminder to love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. To love Him above all. I want to be His obedient, faithful, loving, adopted daughter. I need and want our Lord to guide me. And, although I may not be the most experienced, being a recent leader now for a few spark teams, allows me to be a servant to others. I am His adopted daughter who is to serve and not be served, and He will show me how.

    Please keep feeding me your spiritual food for my mind, heart, soul and body. You are a wonderful teacher whom the Lord has given to us. So my prayers are with you Vic. God bless you, Joy

    1965 days ago
    Every leader is backed with people who pray for them, as was Joshua. "Let not many of you become teachers, so greater the responsibilty."

    Remember the things of old, live in the present, be in the Lord's future plans for you. God is in control!

    Vic, this was so good and Bibical and I thank you for stepping out in faith as we all must do.

    Thanks for the goodie and notes, but most of all that I am assured God is with you and yours as you make important decisions about your eye vision where no power of darkness will overcome you.

    1965 days ago
    Today is a new day for the world! Prayers for everyone!

    1965 days ago
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