This he knew, but the impressive circumstance was mentioned to awaken his mind to a sense of his own responsibility and the need of his at once proceeding to act. The deaths of good men are calls to others to bestir themselves.
This was easier said than done; but Joshua’s faith staggered not. He knew that the Lord was master of the river as he had been of the sea.
Here were exceeding great and precious promises to cheer him. A promise of conquest in war, guidance upon the judgment seat, and of blessing for himself personally. The Lord abounds in tender promises. May he, by the Holy Spirit, speak home some gracious word to our hearts. It would be a joy, indeed, to hear him say, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
The oath and covenant of God are a mainstay to faith, hence the Lord mentions them to his servant. There is no better rock of confidence than the immutable promise of a faithful God.
It seems, then, that it needs strength and courage to be obedient to God. Some count the godly cowards, but the Holy Spirit thinketh not so. He is a brave man who is afraid to sin, and he is a hero who flees youthful lusts which war against the soul. Note that Joshua was to avoid a turn to the right hand as much as a turn to the left: we are no more permitted to offend with the view of doing more good, than with the idea of doing mischief.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, talk about it
but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, think about it
that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein, practise it
for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success, rejoice in it
Before the Lord obedience is prosperity, and transgression is a root of bitterness. In order to practical obedience, however, there must be a delight in the Lord’s law. Those who forget to meditate soon cease to obey, in fact their heart has never been truly in accord with the divine statutes.
Where God’s command is our authority we can afford to be bold. Who shall gainsay us when the Lord of Hosts gives us leave? Fear, in such a case, is dishonour to our Invincible Commander. When the Lord is on his side, confidence is but the reasonable condition of a believing man.
By faith I on thy strength lay hold,
And walk in Christ my way,
Divinely confident and bold
Thy precepts to obey.
I would perform thy utmost will,
With heart most fixed and true;
And dare to follow onward still
Where Jesus bids me go.
We of Jehovah’s wrath have heard
The thunders from above;
And trusting his prophetic word,
Take refuge in his love.
Now in the window of our soul
The scarlet line we tie;
When judgment o’er the earth shall roll,
Its sword shall pass us by.