Joshua 5:13-14 – 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." (NIV)
Has anyone ever written you a song? I had one written for me as a graduating gift from theological school. The song, called "Shout it Down", is about the mysterious encounter that Joshua has with a man before his attack upon Jericho. Joshua is facing a battle — and the odds are against him. A massive wall is separating him from gaining access into the Promised Land. Suddenly, a man with a drawn sword appears. Heavenly help has arrived; victory is assured. In the song written for me, Joshua meets God as One Who does not take sides, but Who takes over.
The first verse of the song tells that the people of God, in victorious faith, walked around the wall for seven days. On the last day, though, the priests sounded a blast of their trumpets, and then Joshua commanded the people to shout because the Lord had given them the city.
My song also talks about us meeting our own Jericho walls: circumstances trying to prevent us from possessing the things that God has prepared for us. The chorus echoes the point that we can look at the wall and feel overwhelmed, or we can see it as an opportunity for God's intervention.
Faith realizes that our victory does not rest in our own might or abilities, but in the strength and power of our heavenly warrior. God will go before us, and through grace and mercy, we will overcome.
Prayer: Lord, we need Your help, and we ask You to come and take control of our situation. Allow us to see, through the eyes of faith, Your power and Your ability to move on our behalf. Amen.