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Joshua succeeds by the Lord's appointment to the government of Israel on the death of Moses. Joshua accepts the command. The people are pleased with it. Officers in the inferior departments are appointed. The Reubenites, Gadites, and Manassites whose inheritance was on this side Jordan, are engaged to go over with their brethren to the reduction of Canaan. These are the contents of this Chapter.
There is no mention how God spake to Joshua. But as Eleazar had the breast plate of judgment, and acted as high priest, it is remarkable that the commission to Joshua came not through him which was the appointed way. See Numbers 27:18-23 . I rather think that by way of honouring Joshua in his new commission after the death of Moses, the Lord spake to Joshua as he did to Moses without a medium. See Leviticus 1:1 . But Reader! do not overlook Jesus our Joshua as represented here. All the sweet words we hear from our God are in, and through, and from him. John 1:18 .
I beg the Reader to observe with an eye to Jesus, what is said of Joshua, that he was Moses' minister. Jesus might be said in one sense to minister to the law, because by the influence of the Holy Ghost the law becomes our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. And Jesus was made under the law, to redeem us from the law. Galatians 4:4 . It is a sweet and reviving thought that, though Moses is dead, Jesus ever liveth: though we are dead to the law yet alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Here are the first exercises in the entrance of Canaan. Jordan must be waded through; God orders no bridges, no rafters, to be made to get over by. My soul, is it not so by faith now? How shall I do in the swellings of Jordan? How, but by faith pass over to the everlasting Canaan? Hebrews 11:29 .
The persons here mentioned to whom this land is given, are expressly named, both in the former verse and again in this. Is not this exactly conformable to what Jesus said to the mother of Zebedee's children. Matthew 20:23 ; Genesis 35:12 .
See the extent of the grant. And it is worthy remark that proselytes to the church were made from all those regions on the memorable day of Pentecost. Acts 2:5 .
It is sweet to the believer to remark, in the instance of one so highly taught, and so greatly favoured in times that were past, how needful notwithstanding past grace, future assistance was. Though Joshua had been so faithful and courageous in the case of the spies, when his faithfulness made him and Caleb stand alone amidst the general murmur, yet grace is wanted afresh for every new occasion. Dearest Jesus! do thou supply my soul anew from thy fullness every day, for every day, and all the day, I need thy support. Say to me as to thy servant: 2 Corinthians 12:9 .
In the preparation of these victuals, I am at a loss to know what the particular nature of the command was. We are told, Exodus 16:35 that manna was the food of Israel until they came to a land inhabited. And no doubt that land was Canaan. Perhaps a larger supply of this heavenly food was upon this particular occasion given them, as they were now going to besiege Jericho. But be this as it may, the Christian Reader may find a sweet lesson here. Wherever we are called, or to whatever siege we are led, until we come to Canaan itself, Jesus is the manna of his people. Not a day can we subsist without him. Lord the Holy Ghost! do thou prepare this spiritual food for me and give me increasing supplies of Jesus, until that I come to the heavenly Jerusalem, where he will be my food and my glory forever. Revelation 7:17 .
The condition which had been made with those tribes we had settled; Numbers 32:1-32 . The Lord grant that we may not, like those tribes, set up our rest on this side the land of promise. To go over to fight for the possession of our brethren, and to have no part ourselves would be a painful conclusion. The Rechabites were scribes to the lands of others, but had none of their own. Jeremiah 35:8-9 .
READER! in the review of the death of one servant of the Lord, and the appointment of another, what a precious thought is it, that our Jesus lives forever. Moses must die, and Joshua must die, and all the servants and ministers of the church must be gathered to their fathers, and see corruption. But Jesus our dear Redeemer is the same, and his years shall not fail. Oh! what relief, amidst every dying circumstance of every faithful servant of the Lord!
In the prospect of passing over Jordan to the possession of the promised land, may my soul be enabled to act faith, in the certain assurance that, as Joshua was commissioned of the Lord to promise the people, so hath our Almighty Joshua promised and secured it to his. And here, as in a thousand instances, our glorious Joshua hath infinitely exceeded and outdone all that his type represented. Joshua, it is true, went before Israel, and went with Israel. And so doth Jesus in all the way, for he is ever with them, and his Almighty presence their support. But he is also gone before. He hath already taken possession of the promised inheritance in their name. The battle is already fought and won. The conquest is finished, By and by he will return to take his people to himself, that where he is there they may be also. Almighty Captain of my salvation! as thou hast overcome and art set down on the seat of the conqueror in thy Father's throne, so do thou enable me to overcome that I may sit down on thy throne. In all my warfare let me behold thee before me, and may I be enabled to stand still, and see the salvation of my God.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17