Joshua has stepped into being “strong and courageous” as he was exhorted by the Lord and his people. He is full of courage as the Lord parted the Jordan River and his people walked across a dry riverbed striking terror into the hearts of their enemies in the Promised Land.
The Lord asks Joshua to lead the people of Israel in marking themselves out separate unto God through the ancient practice of circumcision. This was a painful process for the warriors, but an important step in showing their obedience to the LORD.
After a time of healing, Joshua is on a reconnaissance walk making plans for the impending battle with Jericho.
“Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and
Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?”
He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.”
And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?”
The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.”
— Joshua 5:13-15 NASB
Most believe that this “captain” was Jesus appearing to Joshua. Well actually the Son of God, because He didn’t become Jesus until He was born as a baby years later!
You can imagine that Joshua was VERY confident about leading the battle against Jericho. God had them shaking in fear, and its likely Joshua was puffing up with pride. In this exchange, Joshua is humbled and brought back to a proper position of servitude and reliance upon the LORD.
When Jesus shows up in our lives, He often has the same message– don’t rely on yourself, rely on me! Jesus is certainly worth our full faith and trust! The Captain of the Heavens is on our team!