DVWhose Side Are You On?Joshua 5:13-15But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. —Joshua 24:15We may, consciously or not, show favoritism, whether at work, at school, at home, or at church. But in 1 Timothy 5:21, Paul says, “I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.” How can we apply God’s impartiality towards serving Him and working with others?
Instead of asking God to be on our side and to do things for us, what are some things we can do for God? For other people?
Joshua 5 tells of Joshua's encounter with a man before taking the city of Jericho. God had told Joshua that He would give the Israelites the land of Canaan if they obeyed the law and were strong and courageous (Josh 1:6-7). Being close to enemy territory, Joshua asked the man a valid question: “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” (Josh 5:13). The man’s reply, however, was surprising: “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come” (Josh 5:14).
Knowing the situation, one would expect the man to say he was for the Israelites, since God had promised them the land. But He said that He was not for either side. This shows that God is just. He does not show favoritism. As humans, we are all equal in the eyes of God.
The man’s response also reminded Joshua that he was fighting the battle against the Canaanites not for himself, but for God. By the end of his career, it was clear to Joshua that the battle and the victory belonged to God. Thus, he was able to say, “as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:15). Because we, as Christians, are living for Christ, we should remember that our “battles” in life are not for ourselves, but for God. With this in mind, we will be able to work fairly and with integrity.
In our daily lives, we may need to make difficult decisions and come across conflict. Of course, we should pray for God’s help and guidance. But we also need to consider our own attitude when praying to God. We should not ask God whether He is on our side; rather, we should ask ourselves whether we are on God’s side. As long as we obey God’s commandments, He will be with us wherever we go (Josh 1:7-9). Joshua was submissive when he realized to whom he was speaking. He fell on his face and worshiped. Let us also humble ourselves and submit to God, instead of asking Him to do what we want.