Joshua 5:13-15 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
This is one of those places in the Old Testament where it’s hard not to see Jesus, if you’re a Christian. The Hebrew form of Jesus’s name is Joshua, so this is a case of “Little Joshua, meet Big Joshua.” Little Joshua had reason to think of himself as mighty big: Moses’s successor, leader of the Children of Israel, and the Conqueror of the Promised Land. God had promised to be with him and to make him invincible (Joshua 1:5). Joshua might have been forgiven for thinking that “God is on my side.” Big mistake.
Prayer: Dear God, forgive me for thinking that you are on my/our side. Worse still, forgive me for treating prayer as a laundry list of requests without even a “please”, as though the only reason for praying was to put God into my service. Lead me to realize that “My God” does not mean “the God who belongs to me” but rather (as in “my country”) “the God to whom I owe all my allegiance.” Take me where I must take off my shoes, remove my hat, wipe my eyes, yell myself hoarse, lose myself in total silence in utter appreciation of You. Place me on holy ground. This I ask in the name of the one who refused to command the armies of heaven to rescue Him from the cross. Amen.