“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?” (Josh. 5:13,14).
God had appointed Joshua to lead the people of Israel into the land of Canaan. It was just before the battle of Jericho that the great leader looked up to see a man with a drawn sword facing him. His sudden appearance must have startled Joshua, but he showed no trace of fear — not Joshua!
Advancing toward the man Joshua demanded: “Art thou for us or for our adversaries?” No wonder the answer brought him to his knees! He had been standing face to face with the captain of the Lord’s hosts, no doubt Michael, the angelic prince of Israel (See Dan. 10:21 and 12:1).
The question was not whose side was the angel of God on, but whose side was Joshua on! Was he himself in harmony with God’s will?
What a lesson to learn! In the constant battle over truth and error there is a tendency for Christians to demand of other Christians: “Whose side are you on? Are you for us or for our adversaries?”
If this is as far as we have gotten in our service for the Lord we still have much to learn, for the great question is not: “Are you on my side?” but “Am I on God’s side?”
God’s truth will prevail. His purposes will be carried out, and even though we might be on the side of the most powerful and influential of men, we will surely be driven to defeat if we are not in harmony with God’s Word and will.
Should we not all fall on our faces with Joshua, then, and ask: “What saith my Lord unto His servant?”
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.