JOSHUA 5: JOSHUA MEANS "THE LORD SAVES"
Unfortunately we’ve been taught stories of Joshua the commander only but I want you to see Joshua the man who listened and obeyed God. Joshua knew who the true commander is, and this story illustrates this.
Once when Joshua was by Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing before him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you one of us, or one of our adversaries?” The man replied, “Neither; but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and he said to him, “What do you command your servant, my lord?” The commander of the army of the Lord said to Joshua, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so (Joshua 5:13-15).
The story just ends, but it reminds us of Moses and the burning bush. This is called a THEOPHANY, an appearance of God to a human.
Is this a theophany appearance of Jesus?
Do you know what Joshua’s name means? The Lord saves! The Hebrew pronunciation for Joshua is Yehoshua. Do you know what the Hebrew for Jesus is? Yeshua? They are roughly the same Hebrew name, Joshua and Jesus . . . THE LORD SAVES.
And Joshua knew who saves. This is the vision of the theophany — the commander of the armies of the Lord, Yeshua!
I suppose this theophany changed Joshua’s life and became a deep reason he obeyed everything the Lord told him and called Israel to do the same. Joshua learns who is really in charge. And he too must learn to follow the leader. The true leader knows who the true Leader is.
Will it take a theophany for you to know that the Lord is the commander of your life? What signs and wonders in your life have directed you to know that God is in control and leading your life?
LORD, help us to know we are walking on holy ground when we walk in this world, that you have taught us to see your creation in new and holy ways. Show us how to follow you into the waters of the Jordan, into the promised land, the land of flourishing. We follow you, Yeshua, because in you we have come to know that "THE LORD SAVES."
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey: A New Generation Church of Christ. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.