Joshua's Demand for the Services of the Trans-Jordanic Tribes
Joshua 1:12-18
And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spoke Joshua, saying,…

In making this demand he declares their duty plainly, supports it with reasons, and enforces it with firmness. The demand he made was authoritative. It was founded on a past transaction to which they had agreed. He showed that this was nothing more than the carrying out of an arrangement previously made. From this it would not be lawful to deviate, for the commandment of Moses in regard to this was the word of the Lord. The demand was also reasonable. The raw lads and the worn-out soldiers, as well as the inferior men, may stay at home to do garrison duty, the veterans must march with him. Surely this is sensible. It is always wise to put the best men to the most difficult work. In fulfilling this commission of the true Joshua, has the Church always acted with equal wisdom and fidelity? It did so in the purest and palmiest days of missionary effort, when, filled with the spirit of wisdom and love and power, it broke forth on the right and left and speedily overran the known world, Now it seems as if all the mighty men of valour should stay at home to nurse the feeble spark of the Church's vitality, while the striplings go to the wars. Yea, are there not some who, instead of evangelising among the heathen, expend all their energy in proselytising among Christians? The demand made by Joshua on the pastoral tribes was also equitable. "You have rest," he might have said; "your brethren have not. You got rest through their help, therefore you are bound to help them to the same blessing. The command of Moses in regard to this was acquiesced in by you, therefore truth and honour require its faithful carrying out." Moreover, what an unseemly picture it would have presented, to have seen part of the nation fighting hard, while their brethren sat still and looked on in ignoble ease. And how shortsighted would this policy of idleness have been. Only by the speedy and thorough conquest of all the land could the heritage of any tribe be kept in pleasant and unquestioned possession. To march with Joshua was the wisest, as well as the most seemly thing these tribes could do. Surely the same arguments could be urged with equal force as incentives to the grand work of world-wide Christian testimony.

(A. B. Mackay.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,

WEB: Joshua spoke to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, saying,

Fidelity to Engagements
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