"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?” 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?” (Joshua 5:13-14, NKJV)
Joshua asked this mysterious figure if he was on their side or the enemy’s side, and the man answered “No.” That reminds me of a scene from It’s a Wonderful Life when a surprised George Bailey asked his newly pregnant wife if it was a boy or a girl, and she nodded her head “yes.” Not much of an answer.
But Joshua didn’t need much of an answer. He recognized this Commander of the Lord’s army as being worthy of his worship. Since angels don’t accept worship (see Rev. 22:8-9) and this man did, we must assume that this was actually the Lord who was appearing to Joshua. What is the point? Well, Joshua was willing to worship this man without regard to what the man would do for him. Remember, when he fell down to worship, Joshua did not yet know whose side this Commander was on. But this didn’t matter to Joshua, because he knew this was the Lord he was speaking to. Instead of asking any more questions about whose side he was on, Joshua simply asked, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” At this point, Joshua was committed. He knew this was the Lord, and he was willing to do whatever the Lord told him to do, no questions asked.
Are we to that point? If we recognize that the Lord is telling us to do something, do we obey without question, or do we hem and haw around? It is so easy to hem and haw, isn’t it? That is because we cannot see where our obedience will lead. We fear it, but we must not. King Saul learned this the hard way. Recall the words of Samuel the Prophet: To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (I Sam. 15:22). Let’s make a commitment together: The next time the Lord presents Himself to us, we will not hem and haw around. Instead, we will simply ask “What does my Lord say to His servant?”