Story 2 – Stories of the Valiant
He stood before me, blocking my view of the city we were to take. I did not know from which direction he’d come, he’d appeared so suddenly. His sword was drawn. The way he held himself spoke of power and authority. He was formidable in every aspect. His very presence might have made me doubt whether I could lead my men forward. But I did not doubt. Perhaps I was given the charge of taking this land for that reason: I’ve never doubted the success of my orders from the top.
I could have gone for him then and there, initiating an attack, but I’m not one to react hastily. I needed to know what I was up against in order to fix on a strategy to defeat his army. So I stepped forward, acknowledging him with a quick lift of my chin, and asked, “Are you allied with us or fighting for the people in the city?”
My muscles tensed when he lowered his eyes to mine. Immediately I wished I had not been the first to speak, though I was sure he had waited for me to do so. I began to wonder whether he was born of royalty. There was something in his manner that made me want to fall on my knees and vow allegiance to him. But I knew I was on the winning side of this war.
The sun’s light flashed across his breastplate and glinted off his shining sword when he answered, “No. I am the captain of the royal army of your Commander-in-Chief come to you.”
Then I did drop to my knees and bowed my head to ground. He was not only from the top, he commanded the most superior army known to man. But why he was come I did not know. So, again, I raised my head with my question, this time with no hint of a challenge. I could hardly lift my eyes to meet his.
“I await your orders, sir.”
His expression changed as he looked down at me. I had the feeling I pleased him–me, the captain of a wandering people.
He commanded, “Take off your shoes. The place you are standing is hallowed.”
My heart stopped short in my chest, but I reacted as a soldier and immediately untied my shoes. I was in the presence of the Commander-in-Chief Himself, come to prepare me for the victory ahead.
Joshua 5:13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” And the commander of the Lord‘s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.