The conquest of Og king of Bashan. (1-11) The land of Gilead
and Bashan. (12-20) Moses encourages Joshua. (21-29)
1-11 Og was very powerful, but he did not take warning by the
ruin of Sihon, and desire conditions of peace. He trusted his
own strength, and so was hardened to his destruction. Those not
awakened by the judgments of God on others, ripen for the like
judgments on themselves.
This country was settled on the Reubenites, Gadites, and
half the tribe of Manasseh: see
. Moses repeats the
condition of the grant to which they agreed. When at rest, we
should desire to see our brethren at rest too, and should be
ready to do what we can towards it; for we are not born for
ourselves, but are members one of another.
Moses encouraged Joshua, who was to succeed him. Thus the
aged and experienced in the service of God, should do all they
can to strengthen the hands of those who are young, and setting
out in religion. Consider what God has done, what God has
promised. If God be for us, who can be against us, so as to
prevail? We reproach our Leader if we follow him trembling.
Moses prayed, that, if it were God's will, he might go before
Israel, over Jordan into Canaan. We should never allow any
desires in our hearts, which we cannot in faith offer up to God
by prayer. God's answer to this prayer had a mixture of mercy
and judgment. God sees it good to deny many things we desire. He
may accept our prayers, yet not grant us the very things we pray
for. It God does not by his providence give us what we desire,
yet if by his grace he makes us content without, it comes to
much the same. Let it suffice thee to have God for thy Father,
and heaven for thy portion, though thou hast not every thing
thou wouldst have in the world. God promised Moses a sight of
Canaan from the top of Pisgah. Though he should not have the
possession of it, he should have the prospect of it. Even great
believers, in this present state, see heaven but at a distance.
God provided him a successor. It is a comfort to the friends of
the church of Christ, to see God's work likely to be carried on
by others, when they are silent in the dust. And if we have the
earnest and prospect of heaven, let these suffice us; let us
submit to the Lord's will, and speak no more to Him of matters
which he sees good to refuse us.