Reading: “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?”—Joshua 5:13–14
What a blessed portion this is to feast on, in almost endless thought. Who could this be, that appeared to Joshua, but the Lord Jesus Christ? Who else called Himself the Captain of the Lord’s host, but He whom the Holy Ghost hath called “the Captain of our salvation?” (Hebrews 2:10). Is He not the same who appeared to Adam in the garden, to Abraham in his tent, to Jacob at Bethel, to Moses at the bush? And though He diversified his form, upon these and several other occasions, yet all were only intended to familiarize His people to the knowledge of Him.
Why was it, dearest Jesus that You graciously condescended to visit your chosen people, so long before the time appointed in the incarnation? Could it be that the purpose of these gracious visits was to tell the church, that Your heart was continually towards them in love, and that the thoughts You have towards us, have always been thoughts of good and not of evil? And although, in this appearance to Joshua, You assume the human form, yet as Captain of the Lord’s host, Joshua instantly knew the glorious character of Mediator, and fell to the earth in adoration.
Hail then, the almighty Lord, the Captain of the Lord’s host, and of my salvation! You have indeed entered the lists of the holy war, and in Your own person fully conquered Satan and sin, and death, and hell for Your people. And furthermore, You have surely conquered all these tremendous foes in your people, and bruised Satan under our feet shortly. Lord, we fall before You, as Joshua did, and worship You. We join with all the church of the redeemed, both in heaven and earth, cheerfully confess, “that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Amen.