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sole guide,)“ but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
Implicit obedience to the commands of God, and an unwavering confidence in his promises, were to be to Joshua the grounds of assurance, that he should succeed in the enterprise which was before him. He was to make the book of the law his constant study. He was to endeavor, with divine aid, to conform to all its requisitions. Then, and only then, the hand of Omnipotence would guide, sustain, and bless him.
The same obedience and faith, my young friend, on your part, will alone secure to you the blessing of God upon the enterprises in which you may engage. What the world calls success may, indeed, sometimes attend your plans for the attainment of wealth and distinction, for the enjoyment of luxury and pleasure, while you neither love nor obey God. Your desires in these respects may be gratified, and yet the gratification prove your greatest calamity and curse. For it will bring with it no true peace of mind, no substantial and enduring happiness, and may end in the loss of your soul.
Real success in life is the result of plans formed for promoting the glory of God, the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom, and the welfare, temporal and eternal, of our fellowmen. He who makes his various enterprises, all his employments and efforts, subservient to the accomplishment of these objects; who takes the Bible as his counsellor and guide ; and reposes a filial confidence in the divine promises, will be sure of the protection and blessing of God. He will often have the unspeakable satisfaction of witnessing the consummation of his projects; and if he is deprived of it, he knows that even the apparent failure is ordered in wisdom by Him who understands the best modes of accomplishing his benevolent designs.
Be thus obedient and faithful, and thou shalt truly prosper whithersoever thou goest, and in whatsoever thou doest
Joshua begins the necessary preparations to cross the
Jordan. The people are ready to obey him. Spies are sent to explore the country, and protected by Rahab.
Joshua was prompt to obey the divine command. No apparent obstacles, however formidable, dismayed him. He saw the full stream of the Jordan overflowing its banks, while the Israelites had no means of crossing it. But He who parted the Red Sea, to afford them a passage through its waters, could again interpose in their behalf. Hosts of powerful enemies would have to be encountered; but the promise of Omnipotence had been given, and remained sure. “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
Joshua knew in whom he trusted; and his only concern was the discharge of present duty. He commanded the proper officers to go into the various parts of the encampment, and direct the people to prepare for the passage of the Jordan, and the entering upon the possession of the promised land. Within three days, they were told, they would begin to move forward; and orders were given to have a sufficient supply of provisions in readiness for the undertaking. Part of this supply was the manna, which did not entirely cease to fall till they entered Canaan, and had eaten of the old corn ” of the land ; but probably the greater portion of it consisted of such kinds of food as they found in the countries which they had already conquered on the east side of the Jordan.
On the same side, the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and half of the tribe of Manasseh, it will be recollected, were to have their possessions. But while this was the case, and their families, with their flocks and substance remained, their "mighty men of valor” had been commanded by Moses, in the name of the Lord, to pass over the Jordan with their brethren, and to assist them in subduing the heathen, until they had made secure their portion, also, of the promised inheritance. Joshua reminded them of this command, to which they were ready to yield a willing and prompt obedience. It afterwards appears, that about forty thousand of them, well chosen and equipped for battle, marched with the other hosts of Israel, while seventy thousand fighting men were left behind to protect their wives and children, their flocks and other possessions. How effectually did a covenant-keeping Jehovah order these various providential arrangements for the security and welfare of his people.
There was but one reply to the orders of Joshua: “All that thou commandest us, we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee : only the Lord thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses. Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death : only be strong and of a good courage.”
Previous to these transactions, as it would seem, Joshua had sent out two faithful men, as spies, to cross the Jordan and examine the country around Jericho, and particularly the city itself, that so the best means might be devised of attacking and subduing it. It was an ancient and strong place some six or eight miles from the river, and being the first that would oppose the progress of the Israelites, it was very important for Joshua to be acquainted with its situation and power of defence.
The spies succeeded in reaching Jericho in safety, and secured a temporary lodging in a house which was built upon, or near, the wall of the city. It was occupied by a woman named Rahab, who, although she had been a person not