Jesus as Commander of the LORD’s Hosts

17 Nov

commander of the lord's hosts
Read Joshua 5: 13-15
The words command/commanded/commandment appear 47 times in this book.
God commanded Moses, God commanded Moses and Joshua, Moses commands Joshua, Joshua commands the people, Joshua commands the priests and the elders and officers.
But the most significant commander is the LORD Himself, when He appears to personally encourage and commission Joshua just before they are to cross the Jordan.
Joshua sees a Man standing by Jericho with a sword drawn in His hand. This is similar to the Man who withstood Balaam (Num. 22:23). As the leader, Joshua approaches Him to ask whether He’s a friend or foe.
This is when you expect a different response. Surely He’ll say He’s on the side of Israel. After all, He’s promised many times that He would fight for them (Deut. 3:22, Josh. 23:10)
But His response immediately reveals who He is. He’s in charge of a greater army than any on earth. He is in charge of the hosts (army) of the LORD. This includes all of the heavenly hosts (angels) and any other creatures in the unseen realm (like the four living creatures in the book of Revelation 4:8).
As soon as Joshua hears this, he falls on his face in worship before this One. The fact that He accepts the worship informs us that Joshua is correct. Then he asks for His orders, like the boy Samuel did, in 1 Sam. 3:10, “Speak, LORD for your servant is listening,” and like the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:5,6) Once they recognize Who is speaking with them, they want to know what to do. Paul asks, “Who are you, Lord?” then “Lord, what do you want me to do?” This is a good model for us to follow as well.
Before He tells Joshua what he is to do, He tells him to remove his shoes because he is standing on holy ground. This should immediately remind us of a similar incident with Moses, Exodus 3:5 when God tells him the same thing. This act of obedience shows reverence and humility before God.
Then the record is quiet. We are not told what the Commander of the LORD’s hosts said to Joshua after this. Was it related to the crossing of the Jordan, or the conquest of the land of Canaan, or was it encouragement and strengthening for the task ahead. We don’t know, it’s something we can ask Joshua when we meet him. 
Several places in the Old Testament Scriptures we find God, Himself making an appearance in the lives of His people. Examples are when He walked with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, when He came down to see the building project at Babel, when He appeared to Abraham, when He appeared to Samson’s mother, and then to both his parents, and when He wrestled with Jacob, as a few examples.
We know God is spirit, and doesn’t have a body. Yet these instances where a representative of God is in human form and yet is worshipped as God, in the Old Testament, is referred to as a Theophany. It’s a physical manifestation of God in the flesh before Jesus came. Sometimes, they are called Christophanies, if it’s believed to be the Son, like as the fourth man in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 4.
This is clearly an example of a theophany.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: