Joshua showed respect and submission

Last updated on January 31, 2024

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.” (Joshua 5:14-15)

When Joshua noticed who was in front of him, he bowed his face to the ground. This was an expression of great respect and submission, but also of trust. In his reverent posture, Joshua was extremely vulnerable. For the man before him had a sword in his hand! He could very easily have killed Joshua as he lay defenseless on the ground.
Joshua was instructed to take off his sandals because he was on holy ground. Years earlier, Moses was given the same instruction when God spoke to him from a burning bush. Moses then received the task of leading the people of Israel out of Egypt. Joshua now received instructions to seize Jericho, the first city in the land of Canaan. In fact, he and his soldiers would not even have to fight. They were to march in circles around the city, and then the Lord’s army would achieve victory.

Joshua showed reverence for the Lord. He did what God told him to do. In fact, that was his most important job: to reverently listen to God’s commands and then lead the people in carrying out those commands.
Joshua was a good leader because he let God set the agenda. Can contemporary leaders do the same, do you think? In what ways?

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