The Death of the Old Lawgiver
Joshua 1:1-9
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. THE DEATH OF MOSES WAS USHERED IN BY NO DECAY.In this respect it was a striking exception to the rule. His mental vigour wan unimpaired when he passed away. We have evidence of this in that wonderful book of Deuteronomy, which Jesus loved to ponder and to quote. Witness also the grand swan-song into which he bursts before its close, pouring forth the sum and substance of all his warnings and exhortations in a flood of molten emotion. Witness the beatitudes that follow, wherein the seer pierces with prophetic eye the dark future and perceives the final consummation, when Jehovah shall remove all iniquity from Israel and write His law upon their hearts. Surely such exercises as these betoken a mind in a state of the highest vigour and activity. And as it was with the mind so was it with the body. Moses had no look of a dying man as he left the camp and climbed to Nebo's brow; no painful and protracted illness, no decrepit old age. What a blessed exodus was this; more a translation than a death. An active, useful, holy life; a speedy death — could there be a greater blessing if we have to die?

II. THE DEATH OF MOSES WAS EMBITTERED BY NO REGRET. Moses was not dragged up that hill unwillingly, like a malefactor to his doom. There was no indulgence in rebellious sentiment and anxiety; no nervous and fearful activity in winding up the affairs of life; but contrariwise, there was profound, calm, and courageous submission to the Divine will. In good time let us honestly face all the possible sorrow and disappointment, and learn, like him, to overcome through faith, obedience, and humility.

III. HIS DEATH WAS DARKENED BY NO DISMAY. Of all the multitude in Israel that loved him, not one was with him. Alone, alone, alone, he has passed into the presence of his Maker. Yes, and we too, whatever the circumstances of our end, however tender and unsleeping the ministry of loving hearts and gentle hands that soothes our dying moments, alone must enter death's dark door and be ushered into the presence of our God. Alone, yet not unfriended, if we know Jesus who is there; alone, yet undismayed, if like Moses we trust in Him, for He has said, "I will be with thee."


(A. B. Mackay.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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,

WEB: Now it happened after the death of Moses the servant of Yahweh, that Yahweh spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant, saying,

The Commission of Joshua
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