Summary: Joshua gives us an example of what it means to be a hero


On October 8,1918 Sergeant Alvin C. York single handedly capture 132 German soldiers which earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor. Definitely, he was a hero to be honored. In this battle he displayed courage and selflessness that is required of heroes.

Today’s society doesn’t know truly what a hero is. We found out a little bit about heroes during the World Trade Center Bombing.

But in Sergeant York’s case, the reason that he was a hero in many peoples mind was not the way he carried himself during the battle but how he lived his life.

Listen to a quote that he made in his diary of his experience in World War II,

On July 1st, 1918 he wrote:

I carried a Testament with me. I have the Testament I carried with me

during all my fighting at home now. I read it through five times during my stay in the army. I read it everywhere. I read it in dugouts, in fox holes, and on the front line. It was my rock to cling to. It and my diary. I didn’t do any cursing, no, not even in the front line. I cut all of that out long ago, at the time I was saved.

Sergeant York lived his life in Humble, Submissive, Obedience to the Lord.

A hero is someone who does much more than just an amazing thing. A hero is someone who reflects heroism in his life. A hero is someone who does heroic things because his character demands it.


What kind of person are you? Are you trying to figure out a way to do something great on your own terms, or are trying to be a great person on God’s terms.


This morning we see what makes Joshua the hero that the Bible illustrates. It is not the battles that he has won—God won those—but it is the character of Humble, submissive obedience that make Joshua stand above others as a hero.


What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of change will take place in your character this morning?

Look with me at Joshua 5:13-15.


Joshua 5:13-15

13As Joshua approached the city of Jericho; he looked up and saw a man facing him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you friend or foe?”

14“Neither one,” he replied. “I am commander of the LORD’s army.”

At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”

15The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for this is holy ground.” And Joshua did as he was told.



The passage we look at this morning is in my opinion the most intriguing passage of the entire book of Joshua.

We see Joshua standing all-alone. I believe that Joshua was in deep thought. We see here that he was looking down. He definitely had a lot on his mind. He was not only as the leader of his people but also a military leader preparing for battle.

Over the last ten or fifteen years, through the news media we have been able to look closer than ever before at the lives of military leaders. We listen to their briefings and watch them lead their soldiers and we have begun to the pressures that are placed on military leaders preparing for battle.

This is where we see Joshua. He is looking down. Which, of course, is what many of us do what we are thinking and solving problems. In fact, while this text does not say this, Joshua very well could have been looking over the battlefield in preparation for his next task.

Then he looks up. Joshua sees a man with his sword drawn.

The man is ready for battle. But the question remains, with whom?

So Joshua approaches the man and asks, “Are you friend or foe?”

What does this say about Joshua? This shows that Joshua was bold and courageous. It also shows that he is very focused on the task ahead. Joshua doesn’t resort to small talk; he goes straight to the point. His question suggests that if the man is not a friend, he should prepare to be captured or killed.

But listen to the man’s answer:

14“Neither one,” he replied. “I am commander of the LORD’s army.”

The man says “neither one.”

We find out that the man is God, or, more specifically, Christ.

But you would expect Christ, speaking to the leader of the Jewish people, to say that he was a friend. He says he is neither.

In our culture today, we have gotten to comfortable with God. In fact, we have truly become flippant with the Almighty Creator of the World. So many of our Christian books today approach God and Jesus as a warm and fuzzy friend. And while he does display friendship to us, and that is only by His grace, He remains God.

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