Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, March 21, 2020 

Shabbat Shalom,

“No!”  The word of the day is, “No!”  In Hebrew, “Lo!”  “No” is an answer, but when we ask a question, chances are we are looking for a “Yes!.”  Joshua asked the man he encountered, Joshua 5:13b “Are you for us, or our adversaries?”  Joshua was hoping for a yes, “I am for you!”

Joshua had taken over for Moses.  This meeting with the commander of the  army of the Lord of Hosts was Joshua’s “burning bush” moment.  We know this because Joshua is given the same instruction as Moses.  Joshua 5:15 Then the commander of Adonai’s army replied to Joshua, “Take your sandal off of your foot, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

Why did I bring this up today?  What is the full meaning of “No!”?  Joshua probably doesn’t realize what he is asking.  Turns out Joshua is talking to the commander of the Lord’s army (Who is Yeshua in the form of a man, go figure.) if He is on our side.  Yeshua answers with one word, “No!”  That means, “I am not on your side, the question to be asked is, ‘Are you on My side?’”  

Now let’s apply this to us today.  The question to be asked is, “Am I on God’s side?”  John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me.  When we accept the invitation to follow God, we are enlisted in His army.  2 Timothy 2:3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Messiah Yeshua. 4 No one serving as a soldier entangles himself in the activities of everyday life, so that he might please the one who enlisted him.  

As Asher Intrater points out in his book, Who Ate Lunch With Abraham, in Joshua 5 there is a commander, but no army.  The army is in Joshua 6, and it is the Children of Israel, but they are not fighting, only marching and blowing and shouting.  And then the walls came tumbling down.  

Listen to the voice of God.  Trust Him, and watch the walls come tumbling down.  The walls around Jericho are euphemistic for any obstacle set before us.  God will move mountains, when we obey His commands.  He is not for us, we are for Him.  Shabbat Shalom.