THE CAPTAIN OF THE LORD'S HOST.
: Old Testament Stories
News of the miraculous way in which the Israelites had been brought
across the Jordan spread rapidly among the Canaanites, and when they
heard what God had done, they were very much afraid. We are told that
"their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more,
because of the children of Israel."
God had said to Joshua that the land of Canaan was to be taken
possession of by the Israelites; and h
d commanded him to "Be strong
and of a good courage," and had strengthened him by saying, "Be not
afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee
whithersoever thou goest." Joshua and the people were now in Canaan,
and before them lay a stronghold of the Canaanites, named Jericho,
having high walls and strong gates. This city the Israelites had to
capture; but the inhabitants closed the gates, and prepared to fight
fiercely to prevent Joshua and his warriors from getting in.
As Joshua was alone at this time, near Jericho, he looked up, and saw
a man standing with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and
asked, "Art thou for us or for our adversaries?" The man answered,
"Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I come." Do you know
who it was? Was it an angel? I think it was more than an angel. It was
the Lord! Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, saying,
"What saith my Lord unto His servant?" Then the Lord told Joshua, as
before he had told Moses, to take his shoes from his feet, for the
place on which he stood was holy; and instructed him how Jericho was
to be captured.