Joshua 5:13-15

The government of the United States specifies that our nation’s president is also the commander-in-chief of our nation’s armed forces. The governing documents of our country provide the president with constitutional powers over the armed forces, though these powers are shared with Congress. Since the president is their commander-in-chief, those in uniform give their salute whenever they are in his presence. Well, within these verses found in the faith chapter of Joshua, we read that General Joshua meets the Commander-in-Chief of the Lord’s army.

This paragraph records one of the pre-incarnate appearances of Christ in the Old Testament. Though Joshua was the leader of Israel, he is reminded here that he is really second in command. His experience with the Commander is similar to Moses’ experience at the burning bush. Moses was successful only as he bowed in total submission to God. Joshua has to learn this same lesson. He would only be successful in leading God’s people as he bowed himself before the Commander-in-Chief. There are several important features mentioned in Joshua’s encounter. To begin with, the Commander has a sword drawn in His hand. This meant that He would fight against God’s enemies. The sword is symbolic of truth and is a fitting description of God’s Word. Next, notice how Joshua responds when he discovers the identity of the One holding the sword. Verse 14 says that he falls on his face and worships. He willingly places himself under the Lord’s command. Then, notice that he is told to take his sandals off of his feet because he is standing on holy ground.

What an amazing encounter! It reminds us that we must be in a place of total submission to Christ. He is our Lord and our Supreme Commander. Every dad, mom, pastor, and Christian leader is subject to Him. We never rise above second in command. The Lord manifested Himself to Joshua in order to remind him that He not only came to help but that He came to take over. Jesus said that apart from Him we can do nothing.

For more, read John 15:1-8