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. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” Joshua 5:13-14a
The stones are set and the Passover meal complete. It’s time to make the next move toward the promised land. But something unusual happens first. A mysterious man with a sword drawn comes into view. Joshua wants to know what side he is on; friend or foe?
The man answers, “No.” Wait, that doesn’t answer the question.
The man continues announcing himself as the commander of the army of the Lord. Immediately Joshua knows exactly who it is. The man wasn’t any ordinary man or even an angel, it was the Son of God – a preview of Jesus coming to earth.
Joshua reverently falls on his face in worship, asking “what does my Lord say to his servant?”
The man’s response, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.”
Though the man didn’t respond with whose side He was on, Joshua knows whose side he is choosing to be on. He takes off his sandals acknowledging holy ground.
Joshua is about to embark on an enormous task and calling. God doesn’t let Him down. He meets with him and strengthens him with His presence. And it is holy ground. A holy experience. You too are walking on holy ground, invited into holy work.
Questions: Have you ever felt so close to God when you are carrying out an assignment or in the middle of a really tough season of life? What was your response? Perhaps the next time it happens, you can take off your shoes, drop to your knees, and thank God for what He is doing in your life.