“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand.” – Joshua 5:13
The name of this book is Joshua, and people have the tendency to read the book as if it is all about him, about how faithful and wise and courageous he was. They do that because that seems to make the message of the book relevant and practical: we should be faithful and wise and courageous like Joshua.
And when we read about this strange meeting between Joshua and the commander of the army of the LORD, and we try to understand how this is relevant to us and our lives, we might imagine that there are several things we should admire about Joshua and that we should imitate. Maybe Joshua was meditating or praying. That shows his faith. Or maybe he was scouting things out. That shows his wisdom. When the man approached him, Joshua challenged him. That shows how brave he was. And in the end, he asked the man what he was supposed to do. Joshua was humble.
Those are certainly admirable qualities. But this story isn’t about Joshua. It’s about this mysterious figure who is called, the commander of the army of the LORD. It’s about God, and what He was going to do at Jericho. That’s what makes the whole Bible so absolutely relevant, and so utterly practical. Because in the Bible, God shows us Who He is, and what He is like, and what He does for our salvation. The Bible is the gospel, the foundation of our faith, and our only comfort.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God that the story of your salvation is all about Him, and His glory, which He has chosen to reveal by showing grace and favor to you.