Joshua 5:13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” ESV
Shortly after the children of Israel crossed over into the Promised Land, Joshua began to survey the situation. The first great obstacle he saw was the city of Jericho with its massive walls that protected it. I am sure that Joshua being a Type A personality, was naturally a bit tense. (see yesterday’s devotional)
To his credit, we must remember that Joshua by nature was a military man. Many of us are familiar with the story back in the book of Exodus where Moses was up on the mountain, holding his staff over his head, while Joshua was down in the valley, fighting the battle. (see Exodus 17) Scripture says that as long as Moses kept the staff over his head, the army of Israel prevailed; yet, whenever Moses lowered his arms, the enemy prevailed. Finally, due to sheer physical exhaustion, Aaron and Hur had to come alongside of Moses and hold up his arms so that Joshua and his army could defeat the enemy and win the battle.
No doubt it was because of Joshua’s strong temperament and personality that God chose him to lead the nation of Israel in their conquest of the Promise Land. God knew that it would take someone with inner strength to lead a nation of stubborn people. Yet like many of us who are Type A personalities, Joshua had to be reminded that the battle was not his, but the Lord’s.
When Joshua first saw the man with His sword, he probably thought that He was someone from the city of Jericho. “Are you friend or foe?” Joshua asked Him. “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.” A few years ago it dawned upon me what Jesus was trying to teach us when He told us to pray – “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.” (Mt 6:13)
It’s about God’s kingdom – not ours.
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It will take God’s power – not ours.
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Therefore it’s for God’s glory – not ours.