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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

2018.10.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joshua 5:13-15

Questions for Littles: Where was Joshua by? What did he see? What did the Man have in His hand? What did Joshua ask? What did the Man answer in v14? Whose army was He commanding? What does Joshua do? What does Joshua ask? What does the Commander of Yahweh’s army tell Joshua to do (v15)?
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, Joshua meets the God of the bush on Mount Sinai.

It’s a surprising meeting. The Lord has exalted Joshua in the eyes of Israel, so what Joshua needs more than anything is to be humbled before the God of Israel.

Rachael’s been waiting in her Jericho-wall-apartment for going on four chapters now. The invasion has been postponed by one dramatic event after another. And now… as Joshua is right by Jericho…

The Captain of Yahweh’s army appears. Joshua begins from a position of strength, “Are you for us, or for our enemies?” It’s a challenge from someone who is confident. Really, Joshua expects the answer to be one or the other. But the surprising answer is, “No.”

No? No. You might think that He would answer, “I am for you.” After all, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” And it is true, the Lord would be fighting for Israel. But that is not the point of this particular interview. The point is that God’s allegiance to His people is never in question. What is in question, however, is God’s people’s allegiance to Him.

Joshua gets the message and falls on his face, worshiping. Don’t let that be lost upon you. By the time Joshua asks the next question, he is already on his face, worshiping.

What message can be so important that the Captain of Yahweh’s hosts would personally appear to deliver it to Joshua, now that he is by Jericho? Is it some last-minute intel from the city? Is it a last-minute tweak of strategy?

No. It’s a wardrobe command. Remove your sandals. There are a couple of surprising things here. First, Joshua’s feet aren’t even on the ground! Second, why would Yahweh show up to tell Joshua that the ground is holy, when the ground wasn’t even holy until Yahweh made this appearance?

The point is clear: far more important than any knowledge of Jericho, far more important than any knowledge of strategy, is the knowledge of the greatness of the holiness of God. Do you have that knowledge, dear believer?

Are you, first and foremost, awed and dwarfed by the white-hot holiness of the Lord? Or are you perhaps preoccupied with trying to figure out what’s going on in the circumstances of your life? Or coming up with a strategy of how to change those circumstances? The most important thing for any of us to know is the holiness of the Lord!                     

Our greatest danger is not on earth. It is the holiness of God against which we have sinned. Our only help is not on earth. It is our holy Redeemer who sits at God’s right hand! Unless we are convinced of God’s infinite holiness, we will miss the Redeemer and suffer infinite, eternal wrath.
How and when do you intentionally acquaint and affect yourself with the holiness of God?
Suggested songs: ARP24 “The Earth and the Riches” or TPH230 “Holy, Holy, Holy”

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