“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.” Joshua 5:13-15, what’s called a “theophany.”
Or a “Christophany,” being an Old Testament Appearance of Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
Joshua “encounters” a “man!”
This Happening transpires just prior to the attack on Jericho. Or should I just say “march” around Jericho? God did the fighting!
As if to further encourage Joshua, this One appears!
The first line, “Joshua (both) LIFTED UP his eyes and (also) LOOKED” … suggests some sore of double vision, I mean double apprehension, double realization! One being physical … here’s a man. The other being spiritual, a (the) Man! (Note the capital “M” on Man!)
The Man, apparently dressed as a Soldier, has a Sword in His Hand! This is God the Warrior! Who’s come to help Joshua and the Jews in tomorrow’s encounter! (Exodus 15:3 … “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” Words of the song chanted by Moses, Miriam and Israel as they exited the dry Red Sea basin!)
Next. Joshua asks for some identification … “Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?”
He then gets a clear answer … “As CAPTAIN OF THE HOST OF THE LORD am I now come.” Wow, as Captain!
Then, Joshua bows to worship this “Man” … and He does not restrain Joshua at all, not in the least! Had this been merely an angel, such worship would have been forbidden, denied! (As occurred to John in Revelation 22:8-9. “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the ANGEL which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou DO IT NOT: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: WORSHIP GOD.” Amen!)
But Jesus does not restrain Joshua one whit! “Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?” (This sounds a lot like Paul’s “What would Thou have me ot do?” Acts 9:6)
Then, the final proof this is Jesus … in a Pre-Incarnate Form … meaning prior to the Virgin Birth … “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.” The very same words God said to Moses, back at the burning bush!
Take off thy shoes!
Think of it … Jesus came and encouraged Joshua on the eve of Israel’s first battle … her first volley claiming the Promised Land!
Oh, dear readers …
I find Him (via the Holy Spirit) doing the same for me … time and time again, as encouragement is needed!
How about you?
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Ever heard His “still small voice?”