Moses my servant - The word, servant, as applied both to Moses and Joshua, is to be understood in a very peculiar sense. It signifies God's prime minister, the person by whom he issued his orders, and by whom he accomplished all his purposes and designs. No person ever bore this title in the like sense but the Redeemer of mankind, of whom Moses and Joshua were types.
Go over this Jordan - The account given by Josephus of this river may not be unacceptable here. "Panium is thought to be the mountain of Jordan, but in reality it is carried thither in an occult manner from the place called Phiala. This place lies on the road to Trachonitis, and is one hundred and twenty furlongs from Caesarea, not far out of the road, on the right hand. It has its name Phiala, (a bowl or basin), very justly, from the roundness of its circumference, being round like a wheel. It is always full, without ever sinking or running over. This origin of the Jordan was not known till the time of Philip, tetrarch of Trachonitis, who having ordered some chaff to be thrown in at Phiala, it was found at Panium. Jordan's visible stream arises from this cavern, (Panium), and divides the marshes and fens of the lake Semechon; and when it has run another hundred and twenty furlongs, it first passes by the city Julias, and then passes through the middle of the lake Gennesareth, after which, running a long way over the desert, it empties itself into the lake Asphaltites." - War, book iii. chap. x., sect. 7. See the note on Numbers 34:12.
Joshua commanded the children of Israel to prepare for a three-days’ journey, and that all the men of war should go out to battle. “And they answered Joshua, saying, 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.” 4aSG 59.1
The passage of the Israelites over Jordan was to be miraculous. “And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you. And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people. And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.” 4aSG 59.2
The priests were to go before the people and bear the ark containing the law of God. And as their feet were dipped in the brim of Jordan, and waters were cut off from above, and the priests passed on, bearing the ark, which was a symbol of the Divine presence, and the Hebrew host followed. When the priests were half way over Jordan, they were commanded to stand in the bed of the river until all the host of Israel had passed over. Here the then existing generation of the Israelites were convinced that the waters of Jordan were subject to the same power that their fathers had seen displayed at the Red Sea, forty years before. Many of these passed through the Red Sea when they were children. Now they pass over Jordan, men of war, fully equipped for battle. After all the host of Israel had passed over Jordan, Joshua commanded the priests to come up out of the river. As soon as the priests, bearing the ark of the covenant, came up out of the river, and stood on dry land, Jordan rolled on as before, and overflowed all his banks. This wonderful miracle performed for the Israelites greatly increased their faith. That this wonderful miracle might never be forgotten, the Lord directed Joshua to command that men of note, one of each tribe, take up stones from the bed of the river, the place where the priests’ feet stood while the Hebrew host was passing over, and to bear them upon their shoulders, and erect a monument in Gilgal, to keep in remembrance the fact that Israel passed over Jordan on dry land. After the priests had come up from Jordan, God removed his mighty hand, and the waters rushed like a mighty cataract down their own channel. 4aSG 59.3Read in context »
The Israelites deeply mourned for their departed leader, and thirty days were devoted to special services in honor of his memory. Never till he was taken from them had they so fully realized the value of his wise counsels, his parental tenderness, and his unswerving faith. With a new and deeper appreciation they recalled the precious lessons he had given while still with them. PP 481.1
Moses was dead, but his influence did not die with him. It was to live on, reproducing itself in the hearts of his people. The memory of that holy, unselfish life would long be cherished, with silent, persuasive power molding the lives even of those who had neglected his living words. As the glow of the descending sun lights up the mountain peaks long after the sun itself has sunk behind the hills, so the works of the pure, the holy, and the good shed light upon the world long after the actors themselves have passed away. Their works, their words, their example, will forever live. “The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.” Psalm 112:6. PP 481.2
While they were filled with grief at their great loss, the people knew that they were not left alone. The pillar of cloud rested over the tabernacle by day, and the pillar of fire by night, an assurance that God would still be their guide and helper if they would walk in the way of His commandments. PP 481.3
Joshua was now the acknowledged leader of Israel. He had been known chiefly as a warrior, and his gifts and virtues were especially valuable at this stage in the history of his people. Courageous, resolute, and persevering, prompt, incorruptible, unmindful of selfish interests in his care for those committed to his charge, and, above all, inspired by a living faith in God—such was the character of the man divinely chosen to conduct the armies of Israel in their entrance upon the Promised Land. During the sojourn in the wilderness he had acted as prime minister to Moses, and by his quiet, unpretending fidelity, his steadfastness when others wavered, his firmness to maintain the truth in the midst of danger, he had given evidence of his fitness to succeed Moses, even before he was called to the position by the voice of God. PP 481.4Read in context »
As Christ and the angels approached the grave, Satan and his angels appeared at the grave, and were guarding the body of Moses, lest it should be removed. As Christ and his angels drew nigh, Satan resisted their approach, but was compelled, by the glory and power of Christ and his angels to fall back. Satan claimed the body of Moses, because of his one transgression; but Christ meekly referred him to his Father, saying, “The Lord rebuke thee.” Christ told Satan that he knew that Moses had humbly repented of this one wrong, and no stain rested upon his character, and his name in the heavenly book of records stood untarnished. Then Christ resurrected the body of Moses, which Satan had claimed. 4aSG 58.1
At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses was sent with Elijah, who had been translated, to talk with Christ in regard to his sufferings, and be the bearers of God's glory to his dear Son. Moses had been greatly honored of God. He had been privileged to talk with God face to face, as a man speaketh with his friend. And God had revealed to him his excellent glory, as he had never done to any other. 4aSG 58.2Read in context »
Can those who profess to be the depositaries of God's law, and who look for the soon coming of Jesus in the clouds of heaven, stand acquitted of the blood of souls if they turn a deaf ear to the crying needs of the people who walk in shadows? There are books to be prepared and distributed, there are lessons to be given, there are self-sacrificing duties to be performed! Who will come to the rescue! Who will, for Christ's sake, deny self and extend the light to those who sit in darkness? 4T 156.1Read in context »
After the death of Moses, Joshua was to be the leader of Israel, to conduct them to the Promised Land. He had been prime minister to Moses during the greater part of the time the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness. He had seen the wonderful works of God wrought by Moses, and well understood the disposition of the people. He was one of the twelve spies who were sent out to search the Promised Land, and one of the two who gave a faithful account of its richness and who encouraged the people to go up in the strength of God to possess it. He was well qualified for this important office. The Lord promised Joshua to be with him as He had been with Moses, and to make Canaan fall an easy conquest to him, provided he would be faithful to observe all His commandments. He was anxious as to how he should execute his commission in leading the people to the land of Canaan, but this encouragement removed his fears. SR 175.1
Joshua commanded the children of Israel to prepare for a three-day journey, and that all the men of war should go out to battle. “And they answered Joshua, saying, 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.” SR 175.2Read in context »