As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua…
I. GOD'S COMMANDMENT IS ENDURING. The commandment to Moses is transmitted to Joshua. God's will is changeless. What is right is right eternally. We must not regard God's laws as obsolete when they are ancient. The precepts of the Bible are not the less binding upon us because they are old (Psalm 119:160; Isaiah 40:8). Nevertheless
(a) what God commands relative to certain circumstances will be modified if those circumstances are changed;
(b) a larger commandment coming later exonerates from the observance of the details of a smaller commandment when these are by their nature preparatory to the larger. Thus the larger Christian law of love frees us from the narrower preparatory law of ordinances (Romans 13:10).
II. FAITHFULNESS TO GOD CONSISTS IN SERVING GOD IN OBEDIENCE TO ALL HE COMMANDS US.
(1) Faithfulness is shown in devotion to God. Moses and Joshua regarded themselves as God's servants. The Christian is not to live for self, but for Christ (Romans 14:8).
(2) This devotion must be exercised in active service. Belief, religious feeling, and acts of worship will not satisfy God. We are called to do His will (Matthew 7:24-27).
(3) Faithful service is obedient service. We must not simply work for God, but work for God in His way, doing His will, and fulfilling His commandments. Self will is fatal to the merit of the most zealous service. Much of our most devoted service is spent in serving God according to our own will instead of simply doing His will (Psalm 40:8; John 6:38).
(4) Perfect fidelity requires obedience in all things. We are tempted to choose our favourite commandments for obedience, and to neglect others. Some are not obvious; we should search for them. Some are difficult; we should seek special strength to do them. Some are dangerous; we should be brave and firm before them. Some are distasteful; we should sacrifice our feelings to God's will.
(5) Perfect fidelity will make us endeavour to secure the fulfilment of God's commandments by others when we cannot accomplish all ourselves. Moses transmitted the commandment to Joshua. We should think more of the execution of the work than of the honour of the agent. Jealousy sometimes leads us to refuse sympathy for a good work if we cannot do it ourselves.
(6) The justifying grace of God in Christ does not free us from the obligation of perfect fidelity. No man is perfectly faithful. As Christians, we are accepted by God, not on account of our fidelity, but for the sake of Christ and through the mercy of God. But the receipt of God's forgiving grace brings upon us the greater obligation to be faithful to Him in the future (Romans 6:1).
(7) The liberty of the gospel does not exonerate us from the duty of fidelity. We are freed from the bondage of the letter of the law that we may obey the spirit of it. We are delivered from the legal servitude of fear that we may serve the better in the "sweet lawlessness of love" (Romans 8:3, 4). - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.