By Dr. Jeff Steele
Jericho was a very immoral city. Part of the reason for their immorality was the power they believed was in their city walls. They didn’t even believe God could get through their walls and affect them. As long as they were inside those walls they thought anything and everything they did was hidden from, and they were protected from, God. So bad was this city that when the spies went in to scout it out they only found ONE “believer” and that was a prostitute named Rahab!
She actually owned and operated a house of ill repute right there in the red light district of Jericho. I know some folks that are so holy and righteous that they don’t want to believe that but read the bible. She is what they found and that is what she was doing! That ought to prove to all of us that you can’t judge a dog by its mother and you can’t judge a book by its cover. No matter how we categorize people and judge them to be the kind of person God would never use or speak to God can speak to whomever He chooses, whenever He chooses, wherever He chooses!
This lady Rahab is even in the genealogy and lineage of Jesus. The question is not “why would God speak to a prostitute?” The question is “why would He speak to me and why would He speak to you?” It is called grace. Noah found it in the eyes of the Lord. Rahab found it through a red cord. Jonah found out about it sitting under a gourd and thank God I found it in God’s Word, the Sword. Grace is the gift of God to sinful (and what other kind is there?) man and no, we don’t always understand it, but where we need to question it the most is when we recall how it was extended to US!
Joshua had a very unusual encounter just before the Children of Israel that were under his command approached Jericho. It is found in Joshua 5 beginning in verse 13:
13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”
14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.”
And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”
15 Then the Commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Who was this visitor that appeared to Joshua with his sword in his hand? I believe it was none other than Jesus himself! Why do I believe that? Well in Revelation 1:17 John saw Jesus in His glorified state in heaven. This was the post-crucifixion, post-resurrection, after-the-earth-experience Jesus. When he saw Him, John said, “I fell at His feet like a dead man.” Joshua did the same thing! The scripture says, “he fell on his face on the earth and worshiped.” This commander told Joshua to “take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” That is the same thing the Lord said to Moses from the burning bush! This was Matthew’s messiah. He was Mark’s wonder worker. He was Luke’s Son of Man and John’s Son of God. He was none other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth who was and is the Son of the Living God! Forgive me, but when you’ve been with Him the walls that surround your life don’t seem nearly so big and tall anymore.
Note that Joshua didn’t even ask what this visitor’s name might be. Rather he asked Him “are you for US or are you for our enemy?” The soldier answered, “Neither. See I did not come to take sides, I came to take over!” That is the message many need to hear from God today about your own life. “I’m not here to take sides, I’m here to take over.”
Abraham Lincoln, arguably our greatest president, once said, “I’m not nearly as concerned about whether God is on OUR side as I am whether we are on GOD’S side.” He is the take-over God. He is ready to take over what we will GIVE over to Him. That marriage problem, that financial problem, that church trouble, that medical situation, that child who just WON’T do right! God is ready to take over and when He does the walls that surround you don’t have a chance. They HAVE to fall, they don’t have a choice because “greater is He that is in YOU than he that is in the world!” It’s time to get behind the man with the sword in His hand. It’s time to see the walls fall and conquer the city.
By Dr. Jeff Steele. First published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in June 2014.
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