July 9, 2010

“Neither” Side

"Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?"

"Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come."


 

Joshua 5:13-14


 


 

Does it strike anyone else as odd that the Commander said he was on "Neither" side? It puzzled me because as I spent time reading this passage I could not understand how God could not be on the side of the Israelites who were His people. He told them that He was their God and brought them through horrible times so it baffled me as to how He could not take their side. It just did not make any sense to me so I began searching the web.

One of the things I found said, "Joshua and Israel must know their place--it is not that God is on their side; rather, they must fight God's battles."

I thought that was brilliant! It is up to us to fight the battles of God not for Him to fight our battles for us. This really got me thinking.

As Christians, we are supposed to fight on God's side. Jesus was crucified for the very fact that He took a stand that many did not like. He took the stand claiming to be the Son of God, and stated that the Pharisees were nothing more than "white-washed tombs". He even claimed that He could tear down the holy Temple and rebuild it in 3 days. Because He took such strong stands, He made many enemies.

His truth and priorities are always to come first in our lives and we must choose what position and what convictions we will stand for based on those truths. So when we are wondering whose side God is on, we should really be focusing on what God's Word says regarding truth in our situation. In other words, we are to stand on truth rather than expecting the Truth to stand with us. We can always be wrong but God's truth cannot. In the end, we have to look around us and make sure that we are on God's side, living His Truth rather than thinking He ought to pick ours.

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