Theme: Three Changeless Factors
This week’s lessons describe the mysterious encounter Joshua has with a man who identifies himself as the commander of the Lord’s army. 
Joshua 5:13-15
When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “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.

In studying the book of Joshua in preparation for these studies, I have been greatly helped by Francis Schaeffer’s study. And I have been most impressed with Schaeffer’s unique approach to Joshua in using the theme of continuity, that is, the continuity between God’s dealings with Israel under the leadership of Moses, and the way in which God is now operating with the people under the leadership of Joshua. The point of this continuity is that God is the one eternal and immutable God.
Francis Schaeffer talks about three changeless factors. One of them is the written Word of God, which they possessed in this time already because the first portions of it had come from Moses as God through inspiration gave him the ability to write down the first five books of the Bible. The second changeless factor was the power of God. We saw that in the exodus, under Moses’ leadership, and now on the crossing of the Jordan, under the leadership of Joshua.
And then there is the third changeless factor, that of the divine leader, which we come to now at the end of Joshua 5. Here, Joshua, the human leader of the people, encounters this one who is the divine or heavenly commander of the Lord’s armies. Up until now, this story of the crossing of the Jordan and the invasion of the land has proceeded with almost dramatic solemnity. The story has been told over the space of three chapters, and it has been a major event in the history of the people. We expect at this point to have the next event rapidly thrust upon us, this assault upon Jericho, the first of the city-states of Canaan to be taken.  But instead, what happens next in the story is something we are not at all expecting. The last three verses of Joshua 5 describe how Joshua is suddenly confronted by a man with a drawn sword in his hand.


What are the three changeless factors to which Dr. Boice refers from Francis Schaeffer’s study?  How are the first two seen in the book of Joshua?  
From the lesson, what do these three factors teach us about God and his relationship with Israel?

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