Everything was ready.
Everything had happened according to plan but something was missing.
God had spoken to Joshua and called him to take Moses’ place. He told him that he would be with the Jews and they would conquer the land promised hundreds of years before to Abraham. (Joshua 1:1-9)
The people swore allegiance to Joshua and promised him their obedience. (Joshua 16-18)
Rahab, a Canaanite, defected and helped the Jewish spies. (Joshua 2)
Just as God parted the waters when Moses led the people out of the land of slavery so God used Joshua to lead the people through the dried Jordan River into the Promised Land. Memorial stones were set up commemorated this great event. (Joshua 3; 4)
After that miracle, the people stood in awe of Joshua. (Joshua 4:14)
Joshua continued to do the right things. The men were circumcised and the people celebrated the first Passover in the soon-to-be-conquered Promised Land (Joshua 5:1-12)
Everything was going perfectly but one thing was missing.
After all of these advances Joshua was walking near Jericho, the site of the next challenge. He saw a man with a drawn sword and asked him if her was for Israel or for their enemies. The man responded that he was the commander of the Lord’s army. Joshua bowed face upon the ground and asked for a word from this heavenly leader. He was told to take his sandals off because he was on holy ground. The account ended by simply saying that Joshua did what he was told to do.
No further explanation was necessary. The words were the same as those to Moses at the burning bush. Joshua had met God. God himself would fight for them. (Joshua 5:13-15; Exodus 3:1-6)
When Joshua met God three things happened.
- God was worshipped.
- Joshua was humbled.
- Joshua was ready for service.
God can come near to us as we read his written word, hear the word preached or taught in another way, when we pray or through miraculous visions which are probably as rare now as then.
When have you seen God?
How were these three truths seen in your time of closeness to God?