And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spoke Joshua, saying,…
1. Society must have leadership, and leadership must be a question of competence. There are three things about the true leader which are most notable —
(1) He must be directly called of God. Moses was; Joshua was.
(2) Being directly called of God, he will walk constantly in the Divine counsel: "This book of the law shall not depart," &c.
(3) Walking constantly in the Divine counsel, he shall achieve the most distinguished success. This is God's promise.
2. Organisation is as much required in the Church as in the army. The mature thinker, the new-born Christian, the untried youth, the undisciplined mind, and the cultivated intellect, cannot be equal, and ought not to have equal authority in the Church.
I. Such ORGANISATION WOULD FACILITATE THE DEVELOPMENT OF INDIVIDUAL TALENT. In the absence of wise organisation, the modest man will be ignored or crushed. He will have no power and no disposition to cope with the self-asserting and blustering men who worship their own infallibility. For the moment insolence will vanquish genius, simply because genius disdains the rude weapons which insolence adopts, and cares not to fight where even victory would be disgrace.
II. SUCH ORGANISATION WOULD CONSOLIDATE THE CHRISTIAN SOCIETY ASSEMBLING IN ONE PLACE. The army is a compact confederacy. Its consolidation is its strength. Break up its wisely arranged gradations, and its power is paralysed. The same principle has its bearing upon the Church.
III. SUCH ORGANISATION WOULD PRESENT THE MOST FORMIDABLE FRONT TO THE ENEMY. Every man in his place, every man moving at the same word of command, every man living for the common good — let that programme be carried out, and no power can withstand the united influence of Christ's believers. Disorder is weakness; disorder is waste!
IV. SUCH ORGANI SATION WOULD PROMOTE A MOST HEALTHFUL SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE, The organisation which God appoints is calculated to train men to habits of self-dominion. The young man is held in check; the passionate man is subdued; the lethargic man is quickened; and each nature has the advantage of association with natures of a different type. The organisation thus commended is not merely mechanical; it is the order which comes of a living love, which is willing to do the most good in the least time.
(J. -Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,