Here is the history of Israel's passing into the land of
Canaan, conquering and dividing it, under the command of Joshua,
and their history until his death. The power and truth of God in
fulfilling his promises to Israel, and in executing his justly
threatened vengeance on the Canaanites, are wonderfully
displayed. This should teach us to regard the tremendous curses
denounced in the word of God against impenitent sinners, and to
seek refuge in Christ Jesus.
The Lord appoints Joshua to succeed Moses. (1-4) God promises
to assist Joshua. (5-9) Preparation to pass over Jordan. (10-15)
The people promise to obey Joshua. (16-18)
Joshua had attended upon Moses. He who was called to
honour, had been long used to business. Our Lord Jesus took upon
him the form of a servant. Joshua was trained up under command.
Those are fittest to rule, who have learned to obey. The removal
of useful men should quicken survivors to be the more diligent
in doing good. Arise, go over Jordan. At this place and at this
time the banks were overflowed. Joshua had no bridge or boats,
and yet he must believe that God, having ordered the people
over, would open a way.
Joshua is to make the law of God his rule. He is charged to
meditate therein day and night, that he might understand it.
Whatever affairs of this world we have to mind, we must not
neglect the one thing needful. All his orders to the people, and
his judgments, must be according to the law of God. Joshua must
himself be under command; no man's dignity or dominion sets him
above the law of God. He is to encourage himself with the
promise and presence of God. Let not the sense of thine own
infirmities dishearten thee; God is all-sufficient. I have
commanded, called, and commissioned thee to do it, and will be
sure to bear thee out in it. When we are in the way of duty, we
have reason to be strong and very bold. Our Lord Jesus, as
Joshua here, was borne up under his sufferings by a regard to
the will of God, and the commandment from his Father.
Joshua says to the people, Ye shall pass over Jordan, and
shall possess the land; because God had said so to him. We
honour the truth of God, when we stagger not at the promise of
God. The two tribes and a half were to go over Jordan with their
brethren. When God, by his providence, has given us rest, we
ought to consider what service we may do to our brethren.
The people of Israel engage to obey Joshua; All that thou
commandest us to do we will readily do, without murmuring or
disputing, and whithersoever thou sendest us we will go. The
best we can ask of God for our magistrates, is, that they may
have the presence of God; that will make them blessings to us,
so that in seeking this for them, we consult our own interest.
May we be enabled to enlist under the banner of the Captain of
our salvation, to be obedient to his commands, and to fight the
good fight of faith, with all that trust in and love his name,
against all who oppose his authority; for whoever refuses to
obey him must be destroyed.