Joshua 5:13—15, “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.”
This passage reveals what is termed a Christophany, which is an appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ. These final verses are the summation and the point of the entire chapter, and that is the reverence of God’s person. Consider who God is. The more we learn who God is and pursue Him, the more we become like Him, and the more we enjoy and appreciate the mundane as well as the miracle.
God reveals Himself to Joshua as a warrior, with drawn sword in hand. Do not buy into the milquetoast representation of Jesus. Yes, He is meek, but that does not translate into effeminate or weak. Meekness is power under control. Jesus has a drawn sword. He fights against those who oppose Him, and He fights for those who are with Him. Pay attention to those two words: with Him. Joshua asked a simple question: “Are you for us, or for our adversaries.” Joshua assumed those were the only two possible answers, but Jesus answered, “No.” Then He declared who He was, and that is when Joshua’s face went to the floor. The question isn’t: Is God for you? The question is: Are you with God?
Another wrong view of Christ is as a Being that exists only to meet our needs; to basically function as a genie who wants to grant our wishes. Too often our theology places ourselves in the center, but we are not at the center. God is. God is not just some convenient method for meeting our needs. What if, when we are in turmoil, pain, and loneliness, instead of asking God to alleviate our pain we asked Him to use it to make us more like Him? Be honest. Does your prayer life focus on your comfort and your glory, or is it focused on you becoming more and more like Him?
God is for Himself. We dare not project that statement as conceit on God’s part. It is not, because conceit is only possible for one who does not deserve the glory. God does. We do not. This was not about the Israelites. This was about God’s glory. The same is true in our lives today. We must understand this.
Let’s take an honest look at our lives. Is there renewal that needs to take place? Have you been wandering in the wilderness, not keeping your promises, putting yourself at the center instead of Jesus? Remember, the question isn’t: Is God for you? The question is: Are you with God?