Captain Of The Host
Book of Joshua Chapters 5-6
Focus on: Joshua 5:13-15; 6:1-5, 15-25
There are many things that came to an end by the time we get to chapter 5 in our lessons. Joshua had made sure that the entire nation of Israel was obedient to the Lord by circumcision.
They had said they would obey the Lord and circumcision was the sign of that covenant.
Gen 17:11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; [and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you].
This had not taken place during the 40 years in the wilderness.
When they had crossed Jordan, “then the Manna had ceased” and they began to eat the old corn off the land.
But before we begin our lesson let’s look at what happened when the great miracle of crossing the Jordan happened.
Jos 5:1 And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, [heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over], [that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel].
We can be sure that since the River Jordan had been at flood stage these people had thought that they had more time to prepare for the coming war.
If it had not been clear to these enemies of God, “it should be now” as they could see with their own eyes that it was the God of Israel that was giving them the land.
You know it must be an awesome thing for those who have worshipped some fake deity, to realize that there is a real God who has awesome power.
Jehovah God of the Holy Trinity is truly an Awesome God!
No one can stand stand before His mighty hand!
Psa 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
If you want to have victory over an army then demoralize them and victory will come easier.
This is my biggest gripe with my fellow Americans.
When our soldiers are at war we must stand behind them 100%. If the moral of our troops falls to a lower lever then the Taliban and all our foreign enemies get an advantage that they should not have!
Our soldiers get careless and more of them get killed. War is not only fought with weapons but it is also fought in the mind of the soldier.
This happened when I was in Vietnam and it is happening today with our troops in Afghanistan.
Remember it is not a soldiers war. Wars are decided by national leaders and terrorists.
We must defend against the oppression of all people on this Earth.
But let’s move on.
What is an “Theophany”?
There are many examples of “special revelation” in the Bible. We know that God revealed Himself through dreams, and through visions and we know that God spoke to others audibly.
BUT, A “Theophany” is a visible manifestation of the Living God.
We can only see these in the Old Testament because Our Lord Jesus is actually God in the flesh in the New Testament!
We can also say that a “Theophany” is the second person of the Holy Trinity who appears in human form.
We might ask how can we know?
Let’s see what takes place in our scriptures for today.
*****Jos 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, [there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand]: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
We must clearly understand God will always draw near to His people when trials come. He had promised Joshua that He would be with him every step of the way and He fulfills all His promises.
BUT, As a good soldier Joshua confronted this stranger.
*****Jos 5:14 And he said, Nay; [but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.] And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
This stranger did not answer the question of Joshua except to say “No”.
We must be very clear, It is Israel and Joshua that will be used of God and not Joshua and Israel using God!
God again had come down to this earth to see that His will was done!
Later when we see those walls fall we may get a good idea of just how they fell in just the right direction and exactly at the right time.
Notice God does not try to explain Himself other to say that He was the “Captain” of the Host of the Lord.
As The “Captain” the Hebrew Word “sar” is used which means “the head person”.
The “Host” are an army. I could not pronounce the Hebrew Word so I did not try.
But this is not just any army. It is the Army of Jehovah!
L O R D means Jehovah, the Living God!
Did this captain bring this “Host” this army with Him?
The Bible says:
2Ki 6:15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
2Ki 6:16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
2Ki 6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
God’s angels are always near to Him.
The Bible says:
Rev 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: [and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come].
How can we tell a Theophany of the Lord from an angel?
Joshua fell on his face to worship this “Captain” and he was not rebuked for doing this.
Exo 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 [Thou shalt have no other gods before me].
Joshua would have been in deep sin to bow and worship anything but the Lord!
Compare this verse to this scripture in the Book of Revelation and the Apostle John.
Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, [See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant], and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
This “Captain” allowed Joshua to worship so He was not an angel, nor a fellow servant already in Heaven because there were none.
There are other clues to the identity of this “Captain”.
*****Jos 5:15 And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, [Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so].
Wherever God is at is Holy Ground. We should remember this as we realize that once we are saved and become a new creature and are then a living tabernacle of God.
Wherever God is at is Holy Ground and “we should be very careful where we take God” because He lives inside of us!
Compare this verse to this one in the Book of Exodus.
Exo 3:3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
Exo 3:4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
Exo 3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: [put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground].
We can be sure that our Pastors have already won many victories before they preach their sermons as they submit themselves in private to the Lord as Joshua and as Moses did, and we can help them with our fervent prayers for them.
Every Christian needs to remember who is in Command at all times. It is the “Captain” of the Host of Heaven!
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: [for without me ye can do nothing].
All Joshua had to do now was listen to the plan of God.
Joshua did not need to make his own battle plan!
As servants of the Lord, that is the most important thing we need to realize.
It is God’s plan of salvation! We do not need another plan, we just need to get involved in His plan!
Joh 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
Jesus is our example. If He knew He could only do what He saw the Father do then we should do the same.
We need to see where the Father is working, “especially in the place of worship where He has assigned us”, that is the place where we need to get involved.
Whether it be teaching, working with the youth, in the choir, or going out to witness driving the church bus or working in the bomb squad in the nursery.
We all need to get involved in the work of God somewhere in His church!
*****Jos 6:1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
Why was Jericho shut up? They had witnessed the miracle crossing of the River Jordan and they had heard what happened at the Red Sea and what had happened to Egypt, and to the kings of the Amorites.
God was fulfilling another promise to Israel:
Exo 23:27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.
What was the symbol of that fear?
Exo 23:28 And [I will send hornets before thee], which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.
God always keeps His promises.
We must not ever forget. The Book of Ephesians tells us we must wear the armor of God.
To be a Christian is to be at war with Satan and his evil. We are in a fight and our main weapon is the Word of God and Our Faith!
It is the Word of God that is our “hornet” and the Word of God stings because it is the truth!
This world we live in does not accept the truth and it stings them!
The main theme of the Bible is God’s Holy War on Satan!
God declared war on Satan just after the sin of Adam:
Gen 3:15 [And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed]; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
What is our job in this war?
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, [to stand].
We have to take a stand against evil and the one who causes this evil!
Why has the church suffered so much in recent years?
It is because the church has become so much like the world that the world has no respect and certainly no fear of the church. We should hang our heads in shame!
It is the church that allowed prayer in school to cease.
It is the church that allows evolution to be taught in school.
And it is the church that has allowed our own government to take God out of Government when the writers of the Constitution said God must be included.
We have forgotten we are in a war and refuse to take a stand. Shame, shame, shame on us all!
*****Jos 6:2 And [the LORD said unto Joshua,] See, [I have given into thine hand Jericho], and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
Now we see another proof of this Captain. This verse says this Captain was the LORD! Jehovah Himself was the Captain!
Victory was given to Israel just like every other gift of God.
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
And Jesus said:
Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
*****Jos 6:3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
Now comes the instructions!
Did Joshua have a plan to defeat Jericho? Joshua would never have come up with a plan like this given to him by the Lord.
God always knows what He will do!
Our responsibility is to wait on the Lord, listen to what He says and then just do it. The results will always be a victory!
We have three ways we can serve the Lord.
1.) We can make our own plans and hope for success.
2.) We can make our own plan and pray that God will bless that plan.
3.) We can pray to God for His plan and then try to do exactly what He says.
When I was in the army, a Captain brought orders, they did not bring request.
This was a test of Joshua’s obedience as much as it was a show of God’s Power!
Jos 6:4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
First notice the four sevens. The seven means perfectness and completeness.
Those trumpets are called “shophars”.
The “shophar” was used for battle signals, for state occasions, and for religious festivals.
They were not used as musical instruments like the silver trumpets.
We must remember the children of Israel were not declaring war on Jericho. They were announcing the arrival of the first Jubilee to their new land!
They were proclaiming liberty for the land! The land no longer belonged to pagan gods, it belong to Israel and the God of Israel, who is Jehovah!
*****Jos 6:5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; [and the wall of the city shall fall down flat], and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
(show picture of the walls of Jericho)
I cannot imagine how Joshua felt as he heard this plan. He had already acknowledge this “Captain” as the Lord so it was time to go to war.
But we know that with all those sevens it meant that the Lord would finish what He started.
We fail the Lord, when we do not understand that as Christians we don’t fight to get the victory, we fight because The Lord has already given us the victory!
We cannot loose in the end for we are on the winning side. (I love that song, “I’m On The Winning Side”)
The Lord has already fought “AND WON” the battle for our salvation!
We must now believe His PROMISES!
Those walls were going to fall down just like the Lord said and fall straight down so they could provide the means to get into that city.
*****Jos 6:15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.
Jericho was a small city of about 8 0r 9 total acres but we must remember it had taken a lot of patience to walk around this city quietly for six days and we can be sure they would have stayed out of range of the city archers.
They not only had patience but they had controlled their tongues for those six days.
Though the Bible does not say this was a Sabbath day we do know that they would march for seven days, so they had to march on a Sabbath day.
The Jew have always seemed to miss this lesson!
We can also see the words of Jesus were true when He said:
Mar 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Mar 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
We can only imagine what the people of Jericho were thinking in all this time. So the seventh day was something new for even them.
*****Jos 6:16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, [when the priests blew with the trumpets], Joshua said unto the people, [Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city].
It had taken a lot of “faith” for Israel to be so obedient to the Lord while not understanding the “Will of God”.
This day was recognized a a day of faith for the Body of Christ to learn from:
Heb 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
It is still our “faith” where we get the victory!
It does not matter how impossible things look, there is nothing to hard for God!
God had these words for Moses that we all should remember:
Num 11:23 And the LORD said unto Moses, [Is the LORD’S hand waxed short?] (thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not).
Can we limit the power of God?
The children of Israel did on many occasions!
Psa 78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, [and limited the Holy One of Israel].
It is our lack of “faith” that limits the power of God.
Because God can do anything!
Luk 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
*****Jos 6:17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: [only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house], because she hid the messengers that we sent.
Jericho was the first of the Canaanite cities to be captured so it was devoted entirely to the Lord, the first fruits of victory.
Only Rahab and those that were with her in her home survived.
Archaeological evidence exists that tell us that there was a portion of a wall that remained standing in city of Jericho.
It was portion of the lower city walls. This wall was 8 feet tall and had houses built against it just as those two spies described to Joshua.
There is no doubt in my mind that this was the house of Rahab.
Things that are devoted to the Lord are to be destroyed so that they cannot be used for any other purpose.
The city of Jericho was destroyed because of the wickedness of that city.
Lev 27:28 Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD.
Lev 27:29 None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.
Spiritually the city of Jericho, is a “type” of the “world we live in now”.
It was strong and looked to be unbeatable with it’s walls of protection but the conquest of this world can only come by our “faith”.
1Jn 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even our faith].
Rahab and her family witnessed the power of God more closely than even these Jews, because she was in that house that was still standing, along with her family. Can you imagine “her faith” to watch as all those walls started to fall and her wall held firm?
*****Jos 6:18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, [lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it].
In other words. “Don’t Rob God”!
Any man that took any part of the spoils of Jericho would be robbing God.
The accursed thing was the entire city of Jericho, with all it’s possessions, and all it’s inhabitants.
If we remember Sodom we would know that if there had been at least ten righteous people in Jericho God would not have destroyed the city.
As we know and will study later there was a man that did not obey what God had said here. (Achan)
*****Jos 6:19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
The Hebrew word “qodesh” is translated as consecrated in this verse and it appears 457 more times. 303 times it is translated as “Holy”, 55 times as “sanctuary”, 47 times as “most” in combination with holy or “most holy”, 30 times as holiness, 12 times as dedicated, 9 times as hallowed, and 1 time as “saints”.
God is serious when He says things are to be “consecrated” to Him!
Every “Born Again” child of God are “most holy” to Him and are to be set apart for His use!
Psa 4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
*****Jos 6:20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
Jos 6:21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
There is enough evidence in archaeology to determine that these walls of Jericho fell exactly like it is described in the Word of God but that is not important. It is important that we trust the Word of God above all else.
What we can see is that there is nothing that these people of God did to cause this to happen.
It was their obedience to God’s plan that caused this to happen, along with their patience but most of all their “faith”.
All these things were witnessed by those of Jericho who died in their unbelief.
All Those that are in Hell have realized how they have failed immediately upon their arrival and that remnant that believed will always know the power of God.
This is in “type” the second coming of the Lord to claim Jerusalem as His throne at the time of the Millennial Kingdom.
We must remember it was Jesus Christ who overcame the World.
It is our job to follow the plan that is given to us by the “Captain”, Our Savior!
*****Jos 6:22 But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.
Jos 6:23 And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.
Only the believers were saved. We already know that it was the “faith” of Rahab that saved her. Joshua just sent someone to put a hedge of protection round about her and her family.
This is a lesson for all Gentiles to see:
Joh 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
*****Jos 6:24 And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.
Jos 6:25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
God destroyed this earth with water in the days of Noah. God will destroy this Earth with fire in the end!
Our world today is under the judgment of God and His judgment will one day come and that’s a fact and a promise to His Saints.
The people of this world have this time of “grace” that is known as the “Church Age”.
God will always be merciful but during the Millennial Kingdom, Our Lord will rule with a “rod of iron”.
This not the same as “grace”!
The people of this world have only a short time to repent, just as this city of Jericho but we already know that many will refuse till the end.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Our God is a “consuming fire” and a fire like this does not go out until all the fuel has been burned up!
There is a judgment coming and there is only one way to miss it!
There will not be a rebuilding by mankind of what God will destroy for only He is the “Creator”
Are we allowing the message of God to come into our heart.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.