Anglican Morning Devotion for 2 May 2021
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? 15And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:13-15*)
These three verses of Joshua, chapter five, describe an event outside of Jericho involving Joshua and a figure whose title was profound in its implications: the Captain of the Host of the Lord. Who was this strange figure with the drawn sword? Let’s examine the evidence by determining who this figure was not:
- He was no mere man. Joshua would never have bowed the knee to another mortal.
- This was no angel since an angel is not to be worshipped.
- This figure was neither man nor angel because of the manner in which he spoke with absolute authority.
Then who was the figure? It appears to me that the evidence suggests a figure whose coming was of old
and whose title was no less than that of the Ancient of Days – the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ. With what assurance can we make that claim?
Remember the confrontation of Moses before the burning bush? What did God say to Moses? “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” (Exodus 3:1-6)
Obviously the figure was a Divine Personage of the Triune God – specifically the Lord Jesus Christ -since He is the only Divine Person who came down to earth and was made man in the fulness of time.
Only God possesses Holy Ground, and this ground was Holy!
Though many think of the Lord as being a Person who would never do battle, but some pacific person who must always have been meek and mild. He was not always meek and mild even in His earthly ministry having chased the money changers from the Temple with whip made of cords.
In celebrating the crossing of the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharoah’s army in the sea, Moses referred to the Lord in this manner: “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” (Exodus 15:3)
Surely we would not find it strange that this Person of the Godhead was Christ since He existed from eternity past and has always interceded for His people.
After Moses spoke to the figure with the drawn sword, the Captain of the Host of the Lord spoke to Joshua concerning how to proceed to tumble the walls of Jericho in miraculous fashion, and He spoke openly at that time as the Lord. (see Joshua 6)
If this was not Christ Pre-Incarnate, who was He?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT!