I am always thrilled when familiar verses impact me in new ways. Those following the Bible in One Year, will have heard this passage, earlier in the week.
When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”
“Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.”
At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”
The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told. (Joshua 5:13-15)
The scene is set. Joshua has received the baton of leadership from Moses and has been given the vision to defeat the city of Jericho. However, he is yet to receive God’s incredible strategy for achieving this goal. So, here we see Joshua on a reconnaissance mission when he is confronted by a stranger. Given the stakes, it is little wonder Joshua draws his sword and asks the stranger to identify himself. Yet, on hearing the man before him introduce himself as the commander of the Lord’s army, Joshua bows in reverence and worships him.
Theologians refer to this incident as a Christophany. That is an appearance of the second member of the Trinity, the Son of God, prior to him being revealed as the Lord Jesus Christ. Similar incidents include, an appearance to Abraham (Genesis 18); Jacob (Genesis 32:22-23); as well as famously to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:25).
On hearing the story, I was confronted by the following truth. That God’s purposes are always achieved through his means. And God’s means, are invariably to reveal Jesus to us. Now, I do want to encourage you to keep on praying for the church. However, I am concerned that we don’t just get busy, regathering, redeveloping the Fountain, securing premises in Didcot and appointing a new pastor. Rather, as a priority, please pray that we would receive a fresh vision of Jesus. Indeed, I am convinced that in doing so, we be saved from the foolish notion that God is in the business of blessing our plans. Instead, we will in awe and wonder, be encouraged to align ourselves with his!
THERE ARE STILL PLACES AVAILABLE FOR EVENING WORSHIP, THIS SUNAY AT 7.00 PM, AT THE RIDGEWAY CENTRE, WALLINGFORD. DUE TO COVID GUIDELINES, PLACES MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE. I ENCOURAGE YOU THE EMAIL THE OFFICE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.