Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister…
I. WHAT THE LORD SPAKE UNTO JOSHUA; OR, THE ISSUE OF THE ORDER. Never was a mightier task assigned to any man than to Joshua; and yet never did any man start forth better equipped than he, for observe, the Lord gives him —
(1) An express warrant;
(2) glorious and gracious promises;
(3) hearty encouragement;
(4) clear directions.
II. WHAT JOSHUA COMMANDED THE PEOPLE; OR, HIS PROCLAMATION OF THE LORD'S ORDER.
1. His obedience is prompt and unquestioning. No "wherewith" is interposed; no sign asked. He does not pause or procrastinate, but "then" (ver. 10) and there, like a man of activity, he issues the order to the tribes through their officers, bidding the people at once prepare them victuals for the journey; yea, strong in faith, and full of the Holy Ghost, he announces that "within three days" they are to cross the Jordan.
2. As Joshua's obedience was prompt, so was it thorough. He will not do God's work by halves, nor go to war without all the army.
III. WHAT THE PEOPLE ANSWERED JOSHUA; OR, THEIR ACCEPTANCE OF THE LORD'S ORDER. "Only be strong, and of good courage"! They indicate that Joshua had rehearsed in their ears the charge that God had given him. The key to their import is found in the clause, "thou and all this people" (ver. 2). They recognise their union with their captain. Thus their exhortation may be regarded as an echo, and an acceptance of the call to effort and endurance. Lessons:
1. There is great encouragement here for all who, like Joshua, are called to occupy posts of authority, responsibility, or difficulty.
2. The same consolation belongs to every Christian. We all have a warfare to accomplish, a Jordan to pass over, an inheritance to seek. The call of God, the promises of God, and the presence of God are our warrant.
3. A deeper lesson remains, respecting the office of Jesus. He is the Captain of the Lord's host.
(G. W. Butler, M. A.) .
Parallel VersesKJV: Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,