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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 83: Whose side is God on?

Today's Reading: Joshua 5-8

There is a question asked frequently during times of political debate and war: "Whose side is God on?" Both sides have people praying to protect and advance their troops. With whom does God side?

Each side presumes God is on their side, for their cause.

In today's scripture, Joshua asks a man with a drawn sword, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?"

The man reveals himself as the captain of the host/army of the LORD. He basically says, "I'm not a side taker; I am one who follows the commands and leads the army of the LORD."

So we ask the wrong question. This should not surprise us. It seems we find ourselves in the good company of Adam and Eve, Job, Noah, Joseph and Moses. They too at one time or another were focusing on the wrong question, the wrong issue.

The right question is "Who is on the LORD's side?"

There is an old hymn in some dusty and worn out hymnals on some hidden away church shelves. The famous hymnist, Frances Ridley Havergal, wrote these words:

Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the King?
Who will be His helpers, other lives to bring?
Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for Him will go?
By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

Not for weight of glory, nor for crown and palm,
Enter we the army, raise the warrior psalm;
But for love that claimeth lives for whom He died:
He whom Jesus nameth must be on His side.
By Thy love constraining, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

Jesus, Thou hast bought us, not with gold or gem,
But with Thine own life blood, for Thy diadem;
With Thy blessing filling each who comes to Thee,
Thou hast made us willing, Thou hast made us free.
By Thy grand redemption, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

Fierce may be the conflict, strong may be the foe,
But the King’s own army none can overthrow;
’Round His standard ranging, victory is secure,
For His truth unchanging makes the triumph sure.
Joyfully enlisting, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

Chosen to be soldiers, in an alien land,
Chosen, called, and faithful, for our Captain’s band,
In the service royal, let us not grow cold;
Let us be right loyal, noble, true and bold.
Master, Thou wilt keep us, by Thy grace divine,
Always on the Lord’s side—Savior, always Thine!

The next time we pray for our country, let us remember our loyalty and ask the proper question.


  1. I will be singing this hymn to myself all day tomorrow, and thinking of the most wonderful and beautiful woman who first taught it to me.

  2. Martha, I love this post, and thank you for directing us to the right question. I still remember at Urbana 1973, hearing a choir sing "Who is on the Lord's Side" acapella. It was inspiring.