Weekly Devotionals

“POWER OF PRESENCE”
(Joshua 5:13-6:27)

A teacher said to a boy: You cannot sleep in my class. Boy answered: “If you were a little bit quieter, then I could.” He did not want the teacher bothering him. Many people feel this way about God. They do not want God’s presence bothering their lives!
It is amazing to study about the times that God is present in the Bible! One thing is for sure… “Good things happen when God makes His presence known.” When we live like God is always with us, we can be sure we will live the best life we can possibly live.
Joshua was on his way to conquer Jericho. Standing in his path is a being with a sword drawn in His hand. This being called Himself: “The Captain of the Lord’s Host.” Joshua knew there was something dif-ferent about this being and Joshua fell down at His feet. The Captain of the Lord’s Host asked Joshua to remove his shoes from off his feet because the place where he was standing was holy. This is a good indication that Joshua was standing in the presence of God. Many believe this being to be the second person of the Divine Godhead whom we know today to be Jesus Christ the Son of God. God was assuring Joshua that He would be with him and help Joshua to over-take the city of Jericho.

It is interesting that God still gives mankind this same assurance today. God sent His only Son into the world to die for our sins. Notice what God says about the name of His only Begotten Son: “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:22-23). The great theme of the Bible is that God will be with us in our battle against Satan! He has been with mankind helping to battle the serpent since the Garden of Eden. Friend, God’s pres-ence is a powerful thing. Will you allow God to work in your life?

The writer would like to notice three main points, in this study, about the events sur-rounding Joshua’s journey to Jericho, when he fell before the presence of God. I believe these points can help us appreciate the fact that God still wants to be involved in our lives as well. The three points under consideration in this article are as follows: (1) FALL BEFORE HIM, (2) FOLLOW AFTER HIM, and (3) FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM. The text for this article will be taken from Joshua 5:13-15, and reads as follows: “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? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so” (Joshua 5:13-15). It is my prayer that this article will be an encouragement to all who read it.

Notice first, when a man encountered God’s presence he would FALL BEFORE HIM. This is what Joshua did when he realized this being was the Captain of the Lord’s Host. The text reads: “…And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship…” John wrote about a vision that he was seeing of what heaven would be like, and wrote: “The four and twenty el-ders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ev-er, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:10-11). Moses also wanted to see God. He asked God to allow him the oppor-tunity to see Him. God told Moses that He would pass by Moses, but God would not allow Mo-ses to see his face. Moses would only be allowed to see God’s back. When Moses saw this, he fell down before Him: “And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the chil-dren’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped” (Ex. 34:6-8).

Some things in life are just truly amazing! God is an AMAZING GOD! I always wonder what it will be like to see God in heaven. I know one thing is for sure… we will not be able to stand in His presence! Will you allow your life to fall before God today (obey His will)? I pray that all of us will be willing to FALL BEFORE HIM.

Notice second, when a man encountered God’s presence he would FOLLOW AFTER HIM. Notice the text. Joshua asked a question: “What saith my lord unto his servant?” This is the same question that all of us should be asking today.

This principle could carry over into all areas of life. What about relationships? After a quarrel, a husband said to his wife, “You know, I was a fool when I married you.” She replied, “Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn’t notice how much of a fool you really were.” If people would ask this question to their bosses they would have a better job. If they would ask it to their spouses they would have better marriages. If they would ask it to GOD, they would be saved!

Saul was on the road to Damascus and encountered the presence of God and he asked
this same question: “And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). Interestingly, Saul also fell to his face before God’s presence (Acts 9:4).
Will you, today, ask God this same question? Will you FOLLOW AFTER HIM?

Notice third, when a man encountered God’s presence he would FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM. Notice the text: “…And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so…” This is how we know that this being is not an angel or just someone special. Joshua was told that he was on HOLY GROUND. Moses was also told the same when he heard the voice of God talk to him from a burning bush: “And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. Exo 3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5-6). This was literally the presence of God before Joshua that caused him to desire FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM.

Alfred Nobel was the inventor of dynamite. He awoke to read his own obituary one day, but it was a misprint. His brother died, but he saw himself as the world saw him: “The Dynamite King.” He decided he would be known for something else. He established the Nobel Peace Prize. Friend, for what will you be known? Will you be known as one who desired God’s presence in your life. I pray all of us will think more of being obedient to God’s Holy Word (His presence). May God bless your journey to heaven.

Josh McCrary