Words by our Priest-in-Charge:
The Winning Side
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” Then the Commander of the LORD’S army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.
The Olympic Games once again dominates much of our conversation these days. Each person would have a favourite team, favourite sportsman or sportswoman to cheer and support. We all hope our “team” or our “heroes” will win their games, a medal at least. My family would sit in front of the television sometimes and excitedly rooting for our team, does not matter whether they have what it takes to win a medal!
In life, we all have our dreams and hopes. We hope and pray that God somehow will help us to achieve what we desire. Today’s Bible passage tells us an account how Joshua encountered the Lord Himself. He was so preoccupied with his military planning and obviously in a “fighting” mode. As soon as he saw an armed man, his first reaction was, “Now, where does this guy stand? Is he with me or is he not?” The Lord’s answer put things into perspective, as He often does, putting life into proper perspective with His words. It was not whether He was for or against Joshua, but Joshua needs to know whether he was on the Lord’s side or otherwise. Even sometimes when we are doing God’s work, we could be so preoccupied with the tasks at hand, we forgot that we are doing for God and therefore must always check whether we are still on His side!
As soon as Joshua realized that it was the Lord whom he saw, he had things in proper order. He recognized and submitted to the Lordship of Jesus, the Commander of the Lord’s army. As a faithful subordinate, he asked His superior for instruction. The Lord’s bidding to him was to recognize the holiness of God and therefore must response in reverence and worship.
How often do we come against a brick wall in life circumstance and cry out to the Lord for help? How often do we ask, “Lord are You still there?” Perhaps the Lord’s bidding to us is similar to what He said to Joshua. Are you still standing on the Lord’s side? Are you resting in Him? Are you responding to Him in worship? Are you surrendering yourself under His Lordship? Perhaps that’s the place the Lord wants you to start with today – to rediscover that position of trust and total reliance on Him. To win God to your side, is to choose to be on His side!
约书亚靠近耶利哥的时候，举目观看，不料，有一个人手里有拔出来的刀，对面站立。约书亚到他那里，问他说，你是帮助我们呢？是帮助我们敌人呢？他回答说，不是的，我来是要作耶和华军队的元帅。约书亚就俯伏在地下拜，说，我主有什么话吩咐仆人。耶和华军队的元帅对约书亚说，把你脚上的鞋脱下 ，因为你所站的地方是圣的。约书亚就照着行了。 (约书亚记5：13-15)