My kids call me Dad, and my grandkids call me Papa. My friends call me Mike. The teller at the bank calls me Mr. Martin, not because I have money, but because his supervisor taught him to call old men, Mr. so-and-so. Carla calls me affectionate names like Sweetie... Once in a while someone calls me Reverend. That’s funny. (If you knew me better, you’d get the joke!)
Names reveal something about relationships.
God is our Shepherd. We are like dumb, dirty sheep that God feeds, protects and leads. He’s a Good Shepherd.
God is our Father. He gave us life. He teaches, disciplines and loves, like a daddy. He is the Father; we are His children.
God is our King. He rules. He reigns. He governs. He is the Sovereign; we are the citizens.
There are hundreds of examples we could explore. I’ve chosen one... Commander.
When Moses climbed Mount Nebo, he left Joshua in charge of the people that had wandered and waited in the wilderness for forty years. Under new leadership, the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea into Canaan Land, ready to receive the generations-old promise.
The nation camped at Gilgal, west of the Jordan River, just down the slope from Jericho. Looking further to the west, the fortified city with its towering, solid-rock walls, mocked them. How? Swords and spears couldn’t overcome! How could they penetrate the impenetrable?
For forty-years, Joshua had watched Moses make hard decisions. He had always sought the Lord’s help and direction. So, alone, Joshua slipped out of camp and gazed up at the looming obstacle. “Lord, help us! Show us the way! It’s impossible without You. Will you open the walls like you opened the Sea?”
Suddenly, a broad-shouldered Man stood before Joshua with a shining sword in His powerful hand!
“ ‘Are you for us, or for our adversaries?’ And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.’ 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 5:13-15, ESV).
Our God is Commander of Heaven’s Armies, the army that has never lost a battle!
Trust Him to win any battle... every battle! You know what happened at Jericho! Let Him fight for you.
Worship Him. Take your flip-flops off! Fall before Him!
Follow Him. Joshua wasn’t in charge; the Commander was.