And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold…
I. JOSHUA WENT FORTH TO BE ALONE WITH GOD. The hour, thought of for forty years, had now arrived; the campaign was about to begin, and everything devolved upon him. No Moses now to direct him. There was the impregnable fortress before him. A long siege or a speedy capture alike impossible. A dilemma. He knelt for guidance.
II. THE LORD CAME TO BE ALONE WITH JOSHUA.
1. To Abram, a wanderer, He appeared as a wayfarer; to Jacob, distressed at the prospect of a conflict with his brother, He appeared as a wrestler who allowed himself to be overcome; and now, to the warrior, He showed Himself as a warrior. This teaches that there is no condition of life in which we shall not find the Lord Jesus in full sympathy with His people.
2. Joshua's doubt; whether He was for or against him was soon set at rest. So will yours, if your heart is right with Him.
3. When Joshua knew who He was, he fell upon his face and worshipped. We have a like assurance that Joshua had. "All power is given unto Me." "Lo, I am with you alway." But if this be really given to us by the Holy Ghost, our attitude will be like Joshua's.
(1) Deeply reverential (Isaiah 6:5).
(2) Entirely submissive to the Divine will (Acts 9:6).
4. The first thing the Lord required — "Loose thy shoe," &c. So now, Leave worldly cares, cut off carnal indulgences, and give yourself up wholly to Me." "And Joshua did so... And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand, Jericho," &c. A similar promise is given to us. Jericho is a type of the world (John 16:33; Romans 8:31; 1 John 4:4). The promise was definite: "I have given." That set Joshua's mind at rest. Have we not many a promise us definite? Why should we fear? (see 1 John 5:4).
5. But faith does not mean sitting still and doing nothing. The land was given to them, but they had to conquer every foot of it. The Christian conflict is no less a conflict because "a fight of faith."In order to conquer in "the good fight of faith," we want —
1. The readiness of faith, which is found only in our realised perfect standing in Christ.
2. The prayer of faith.
3. Faith's recognition of the Divine presence.
4. Faith's reverential submission to the Divine will.
5. Faith's energetic obedience to the Divine commands.
(W. J. Chapman, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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?
WEB: It happened, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went to him, and said to him, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?"