The Encounter

The Encounter

“Now when Joshua was near Jericho he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” Joshua 5:13 & 14.

Joshua, anointed to lead the Israelite’s into the Promised Land after Moses went to be with the Lord. What a daunting and scary task. The question is, was he up for it? Joshua was a warrior, not surprising when he had to fight his way through slavery in Egypt, then in the wilderness for 40 years. The wilderness strengthens ones character in many directions, one being how to bow to the Almighty God and the other endurance, in the midst of pain, disappointment, and devastation when everything in us wants to bag the whole mess, go home and go to bed. Fighting was so much in Joshua’s blood we see in this text him approaching the Lord’s angel with a tone and question, implying if need be, I am ready to fight you if you are against us.

As I gazed at this text I realized Joshua was not entirely in error, because the angel did arrive with a “drawn sword,” at his side and in the world I come from, that’s grounds for a fight. Clearly, Joshua had learned from past experiences to confront head on the object confronting him no matter what fear he might have felt. However, Joshua learned that the angel was not for Israel nor against them. So, the reader is left baffled and wondering why the angel would come with a sword at all, confusing matters greatly. I had to take a moment and meditate.  What is done on earth shall be done in heaven and while I pondered on this text I became aware of God’s spiritual army encountering God’s earthly army and my spirit instantly felt satisfied. Perhaps, in the spiritual realm, the angel was fighting demons who threatened to delay or stop him from getting to Joshua in order to deliver God’s message.

Like Joshua, many of us are so used to fighting, so used to attacking first and asking questions later we miss the beauty of how God works and how hard God works when trying to communicate with us. I have done this many times, because I could see, but failed to observe. In this text, God revealed to Joshua whether it’s on earth or in heaven, He will always find a way to guide, protect, strengthen, encourage, and inform His people. Many times we pray to Jesus for His angels to protect and oversee our loved ones, and this account in the Bible seems to drive that point straight home-if we could only get past the angel with a sword in his hand perpetrating as our enemy . The angel, like many messengers we encounter on this road called life, will engage us looking like one thing, but really doing another.We must test the spirit first. We must stop for a moment and recognize, like Joshua did, when God sends a lifeline, a messenger, an angel amongst us, not sent to fight, but to protect at all cost God’s people. Are we listening? Or, have we become so caught up in the wilderness, the pain, and the fight that we mistakenly dismiss our Godly encounter for our enemy.

I am encouraged at how deep, wide, long, and high God’s protection, love, grace, and mercy will go for His creation. I pray to always allow God to engage me as he sees fit, but more importantly I pray to not miss my blessing, because I refuse to put down my sword , stop fighting, and listen.

 

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D. C. Lassiter About D. C. Lassiter

D. C. Lassiter is host of the Dovetales radio show and author of Beyond the Face of the Movies, a non-fiction, Christian Living book. You can find D.C. Lassiter on her online blog and on Facebook page.

Comments

  1. Wow, this one really got me thinking! Thanks for your thoughts on looking past the obvious and trying to understand what God is really doing.

    [Reply]

  2. Thanks, Lisa. This scripture got me thinking too. So amazing, God’s word. Hugs to you…

    [Reply]

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