INTRO: After a grueling day of training, which had included a ten-mile hike and completion of a difficult obstacle course, a platoon of raw recruits quickly fell into bed. As one of the platoon, a Christian, lay in the dark, he recited a prayer aloud: 'Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep; if I should die before I wake, thank you, Jesus!' There was a brief pause and then several voices said in unison, 'Amen.'
ILLUS: Lily Tomlin once said, 'One of the chief causes of stress in today's world is reality.' At various times in life we all face circumstances of extreme difficulty that call for us to stretch our faith and obedience. In the first battle for the conquest of the promise land, Joshua was facing one of those stressful times of life. He needed a faith booster in order to claim victory and that is what he received. As we read of the events leading up to and through that battle, we will see three facets of victorious faith.
I. THE INSPIRATION OF VICTORIOUS FAITH IS GOD 5:13-15
Many scholars identify this captain of the Lord's army as a theophany - a physical manifestation of God - and I agree. Here are some reasons why:
* Joshua refers to him as 'Lord'* Joshua fell down in reverence for him.* The commander told Joshua to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. Just as God had commanded Moses at the burning bush.* The one speaking to Joshua is identified as 'The Lord' in Joshua 6:2.* 'Captain of the Lord's army' seems to fit the description of Jesus given in Revelation 19:11ff 'I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were f ...
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