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…
What the heathen gods are fabled to have done with some of their favourite warriors, God here and now does to this His first soldier-saint, sending him forth to the fray invulnerable, invincible. By faith in this great promise, Joshua is more than conqueror. Poor and tame in comparison is the "Veni, vidi, vici!" of Rome's great hero. God's presence is pledged to Joshua unconditionally and unalterably. Oh, highly favoured Joshua! Yes, and also highly favoured saints, for even with a like great and precious promise do we go a warfare against evil. In regard to both the outer and the inner conflict in which we are engaged we should always remember that we are on the winning side. The battle is the Lord's. "Forward" is the Divine command. We are not to make up our minds for defeat, but to march in the assurance of victory. "My grace is sufficient for thee." This promise gives us power as we face error of every kind. The enemies of the gospel in these days are proud and boastful. If we were to judge by their shouts, we should think that the whole fabric of Christianity was falling to pieces. Have we anything to pit against these enemies? Most assuredly. The Divine presence, as in the case of Joshua, is pledged to be with us. This great promise given to Joshua was followed up by a stirring exhortation. Courage! this peal of bells rings out in all its changes. Why? Because Joshua was a coward? Nay, he had the heart of a lion, but because courage is the fundamental virtue in every saint of God, in every soldier of righteousness, in every witness for the truth. One of the great wants of the day is courage, courage to confess Christ in every company and on all occasions; courage to hold fast to His every word; courage to do all His will; courage to follow wherever He leads. It is called a good courage, and no virtue better deserves the epithet, for it is good whether we consider its qualities or its achievements, the throne on which it sits or the crown with which it is adorned. It is good courage because it is obedient, not self-willed, obstinate, headstrong. Again and again the greatest exploits of courage have been summed up in the words, "I must obey God." Such courage is of the highest quality. It can never quail, because conscious of eternal rectitude. It is a good courage also because it is studious and humble. Its aim being to obey all God's will, in the spirit as well as in the letter, it gives all diligence to know God's will. Accordingly, the hero of Jehovah meditates in God's law day and night; takes counsel not with flesh and blood, but with the living oracles, and finds therein all his comfort, strength, and light. This good courage, being obedient and studious, is also intelligent. It observes with watchful care the hints of Providence and the checks of conscience. It learns better every day what God's will is in all things. Remember that such courage is the great secret of success. This above all things frightens our great adversary the devil. Satan has no dread of learning, or wisdom, or riches, but he does fear the courage of a soul resting in communion with God. And well he may, for this courage arms the soul with Divine might.
(A. B. Mackay.)
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,