Devotional: November 2, 2021
Once when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing before him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you one of us, or one of our adversaries?’ 14He replied, ‘Neither; but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, and he said to him, ‘What do you command your servant, my lord?’ 15The commander of the army of the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy.’ And Joshua did so.
Joshua 5: 13-15 NRSV
We all face certain battles or struggles. We fight against temptation, depression, health issues, anxiety, discouragement, hot tempers, and even the death of a loved one. I am quite certain that no one will ever say, I have had a problem free life. In the same spirit, I am equally sure nobody believes that they are immune from suffering and problems.
Fortunately, we do not fight alone. Here, Joshua is in the process of leading God’s people to take the promised land. As expected, they are encountering resistance. Hence, Joshua is a little confused when he meets a mysterious stranger, who has drawn his sword. Joshua asks, “Are you for us, or against us?”
The stranger assures Joshua that he is fighting WITH Joshua, for he is the commander of the army of the Lord! Joshua is shocked and awed by the commander’s true identity. He realizes that he is in the presence of the greatest warrior and ally. Very appropriately, Joshua drops to his knees, and worships the Lord.
This story is a reminder to us that we do not fight alone in our everyday battles. When we turn to the Lord, he is always there to fight alongside us. He also desires to encourage us, and to comfort us. But most importantly, we do not fight alone.
This truth is reflected in the song, “Whom Shall I Fear (the God of angel armies)”, by Chris Tomlin.
You hear me when I call You are my morning song Though darkness fills the night It cannot hide the light Whom shall I fear?
You crush the enemy Underneath my feet You are my sword and shield Though troubles linger still Whom shall I fear?
I know who goes before me I know who stands behind The God of angel armies Is always by my side…
Lord God Almighty,
I admit there are times when I experience a “crisis of confidence” in facing my battles. When I let fear get the best of me, remind me that I do not fight alone. Instead, You are with me, for You are the God of Angel Armies! I pray this prayer in the name of Your son, my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.