It must have been odd to see the world change before them. Joshua had marched behind a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night for 40 years. Now that they had crossed the Jordan and sat outside of Jericho, things were changing very quickly.
First, Israel celebrated their first Passover meal in the new land. The people gathered what they needed from this land that flowed with milk and honey–that must have been fun. The meal was so amazing–but, then, the manna simply ceased. All at once, Israel was able to provide for itself and from then on, this free people no longer had to rely upon God for daily provision. (Well, truth be told they still had to rely upon God, it just was not as obvious.)
Next, Joshua looks out and sees a man with a sword and he approaches the man. He asks a fair question–“Are you friend or foe?” The man responds–“NO! I am the commander of the Army of the Lord!” God came and was ready to do battle; and Joshua got to be a part! Joshua asked what he should do…The Angel of the Lord replied, “Take off your shoes; you are standing on holy ground!” Joshua, God’s leader for Israel, was given the same message that his mentor Moses received at the beginning of the adventure. It was a new beginning for God’s people, and the excitement was just beginning.
In our lives, we can pinpoint God’s hand most often when we experience change. While change is usually difficult, if we look, we can often see God’s plan being played out for our benefit and according to His will. Like Joshua, we simply need to be ready to listen and to respond to God’s call–no matter what the circumstances hold for us. Usually, change in our lives will lead to a closer walk with God and a much better perspective.
As His people, we simply must respond by faith, and humbly continue to seek the Lord with all our hearts. Our response and perspective should be as one who is safe in God’s shadow. Paul said it well in Colossians 3:4, “For, you have died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, you will also appear with Him in Glory!”
God Bless You
While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. 11 And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes, and parched grain. 12 And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
The Commander of the Lord’s Army
13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14 And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped[c] and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15 And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.