TAKEOVER Andy Hollifield 7-31-18
Joshua 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?
I have always loved this story. Can you picture this in your mind? Israel is prepared for battle as they are fixing to take over the promised land. No doubt, as with any military encampment during war, they are on edge. One week before the siege of Jericho, Joshua was over by Jericho when he sees a man close by with his sword drawn. Joshua, being the brave leader that he now is, approaches him and ask, “Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?” In so many words the man answered, I didn’t come to take sides, I came to take over. Can you imagine the comfort that Joshua must have felt just knowing that now, one higher than him was on the scene. Joshua began to worship and ask what the man had to say. He was told to do as Moses had when he was commissioned by God at the burning bush, “Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy.” And Joshua did so. That is the last we hear of this mysterious man. In chapter six, Jericho is locked down just waiting for the inevitable attack. The Lord gives Joshua instructions. Not that he was tormented by fear, but don’t you imagine Joshua had a renewed vigor about the battle after his encounter with the man and now the Lord was giving him step by step instructions?
On the other hand, can you imagine what it must have been like for the citizens of Jericho? They know an attack is coming and they know they are going to lose. The city is locked down and with all the Israelites camped around the wall, there was likely no escape. Can you imagine the torment of looking out when you hear a noise outside of the city and see possibly as many as 2.4 million people of which 600,000 were soldiers, passing around the city, not saying anything, and then returning to their camp? Rahab had already told the spies that every man’s heart melted because of them. This scene continued for six days and on the seventh day, they continued marching and didn’t return to camp. Seven times and then with the long blast of seven ram’s horn trumpets sounding, then a great shout and the walls fell flat and the Israelites destroyed all that breathed in the city including livestock. That is what I call a serious takeover.
This was just another time the Lord came through and defeated Israel’s enemies in a miraculous way. In Exodus 14 when it seemed like all was lost, with Pharoah’s army behind them and the Red Sea in front of them, it looked hopeless. God told them to stand still and watch him work in so many words. Moses held out his staff and God parted the sea and they passed through on dry land. A little while later with Pharoah’s army pursuing them through the midst of the sea, as the Israelites stepped up on the other shore, God let the sea return to its place destroying the Egyptians just as he said he would.
Later when Korah tried to stand against Moses in Numbers 16, God had Moses to call all that supported him to come and stand by him. He also divided those that stood with Korah and the earth opened up and swallowed all that pertained to Korah’s men. In Numbers 14 God promised the Israelites that he had given them the promised land and he would fight for them and all they had to do was go in to possess it but they rebelled and died in the wilderness leaving their children to inherit the promised land. In the book of Judges, God delivered Gideon’s army of 300 victorious over a much larger Midianite army. God delivered Noah and his family in the ark in a devastating flood. In Genesis also, he delivered Abram by allowing Sarai to have a child in her old age. Years later when famine struck Israel and it looked like the covenant given to Abraham by God wouldn’t come to pass, God delivered Jacob’s family by way of Joseph who, as a slave, ruled in Egypt having authority over all that Pharoah had. In 2 Kings 6, Elisha leads the Syrian army right into the middle of Samaria after God had struck them with blindness.
Even in the New Testament, multitudes were fed and healed when Jesus took over. Paul and 276 men in the book of Acts, survived shipwreck on the way to Rome, when God took over. There is no question about it, when we stand still and put our trust in God, he can change impossible situations when he takes over. He can heal where the doctors have given up, when he takes over. He can put broken families back together again, when he takes over. He can heal broken hearts, when he takes over. He can stretch dimes into dollars, when he takes over. He can give peace in the midst of your storm, when he takes over. He can still reach the heart of the most hardened sinner and save their soul, when he takes over. That thing that you have almost given up hope on ever seeing it happen, the Lord can take care of it, when he takes over. Knowing all of this to be true from scripture, why don’t you just let him take over? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!