A MORNING STAR OF THE KINGDOM
The words ‘Joshua’ and ‘Jesus’ are the same name, only spelt differently; and Joshua is the morning star of the kingdom of God’s People of old, as our Lord is the Morning Star (Rev. 22: 16) of the Kingdom of God’s People today. As we are probably within sight of our Jordan, and the passage into the Millennial Kingdom draws closer and closer, we do well to swing our searchlight on to this morning star; and the priceless revelation in Joshua’s drama are God’s instructions which, when obeyed, make a morning star.
The counsel of Jehovah how to become a Joshua opens with fearless courage. God says:- "Only" - as the supreme quality you will require - "be STRONG and VERY COURAGEOUS" (Josh. 1: 7): alert, prompt, aggressive, fearless: six times the Most High repeats it, so vital is courage. The ‘fear nots’ of the Bible must be beyond counting. Fear exaggerates difficulties, murmurs at suffering, shrinks from reproach, neglects duties, and doubts God. "For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline" (2 Thm. 1: 7). Thus God’s first instruction for the Kingdom is exactly parallel with one of our Lord’s most extraordinary utterances: "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and men of violence take it, by force" (Matt. 11: 12). The life of the soul that is faithful to its Lord will be one succession of storms in a hostile world, demanding a vital courage and strength. But the reward is the Kingdom. "Cast not away therefore your boldness, which hath GREAT RECOMPENSE OF REWARD" (Heb. 10: 35).
courage so stressed is a courage carefully held to a single channel. Courage
for what? "Only be strong
and very courageous, to observe to do according to
all the law."
said that the forces
which influence the spirits of men in battle decide for victory or
more powerfully than anything which affects their material strength;
and it is
a discovered fact that the percentage of hits in shooting falls
steadily with a
sense of defeat, and always rises with the assurance of victory. Joshua lived the command. When the whole commission
sent to Palestine -
except himself and Caleb - trembled before the Canaanites, those
symbols of the
Demon Powers that oppose our entrance on the Kingdom, as grasshoppers
and Caleb cried, - "We are well
able to overcome";
the standard set for the Kingdom is no impossible standard - we can all
overcomers: and they faced an angry mass of men when only Divine lightnings saved them from being
stoned by the people of
God (Num. 14: 10).
In the words of Spurgeon :-
"If indeed ye are soldiers of
such a Captain,
throw fear to tile winds. Can you be cowards when the Lord
Hosts leads you? Dare
you tremble when
at your head is the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty God, the
Father, the Prince of Peace? The
trumpet is already at the lips of the
The second supreme quality on which Jehovah lays all the emphasis for the creation of a morning star is absorption of the Word of God. "This book shall not depart out of thy mouth" - our whole teaching, all our mouth’s utterance, is to be an enforcement of Scripture; "but thou shalt meditate therein day and night" - a heart concentration, unceasing, on the Word of God - "that" - not that we may be a clever student, but - "thou mayst observe TO DO according to all that is written therein" - not for knowledge, but obedience, is the very soul of the gift of God’s Book. We are to soak ourselves in the Word of God, in order to reproduce the whole of it in our life. In one of the Galleries on the Continent there is a famous picture by Raphael. Groups of the world’s painters sit for hours before it. They study its draughtsmanship; they absorb its colouring; they revel in its transparency; they rejoice in its lights and glooms. "I could sit daily for years before that picture," said one of them "and on the last day the last year discover new beauties." The Book we study is not only inexhaustible, but reproduces itself in all who ‘meditate therein day and night.’ For such is the whole soul of its inspiration. "Meditate therein day and night, that thou observe to DO according to all that is written therein."
we see that the entire emphasis of the Most High on the
creation of a
morning star rests on a courage which obeys the whole Book. "Turn
not from it
to the right hand or to the left": the metaphor is taken
road skirted on both sides with precipices; grip the plow,
and drive the furrow straight and hard, "for
man, having put his hand to the plow,
back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9: 62). So the consequence is now
stated. "That thou mayest
have good success whithersoever thou goest"; and the
Most High repeats it, - "FOR
shalt thou make
thy way prosperous, and then
shalt thou have GOOD
extraordinary to find the word ‘success’
lips of God; and He knows no success but in obedience
to His word.
the spiritual sphere, as in
the physical, faith embodied in action is certain victory.
said in the last War:- "I
never had any doubt, not for a day or an hour; in war, he who doubts is
The tragedy of
once more we see the making of a morning star. It
shines steadily with the light of an
un-risen sun, for it walks in the fellowship of God. This
is the overwhelming, final counsel that
Jehovah gives for the creation of a Joshua. "Be not
affrighted, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord
thy God is with thee
whithersoever thou goest."
though invisible, actually stood
in the dock beside Paul in chains, as he preached the Gospel to the
Nero; when the need is supreme, so will be the Divine presence. It is happening today. Dr. James Reid
has just said:- "A friend wrote to me the
other day after three or four weeks spent in a nursing-home in bombed
we see the reward. A sole survivor (with Caleb)
of all the
Hebrews that had crossed the Red Sea, he leads his generation into the
Sabbath-rest; and the passage of the
to-day we ourselves are confronted with Joshua’s own rousing words
:- "Sanctify* yourselves; for to-morrow
the Lord will DO
WONDERS among you": "hereby
shall see that A LIVING GOD is amongst you."
So Joshua’s own
postscript to his life
reinforces his command of sanctity. He
spoke for a last time in Canaan: his word comes as a wireless message
SANCTIFICATION FOR GLORY
The Apostle prays for his converts:- "The God of peace himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame, at the Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thess. 5: 23). This is progressive sanctification, a life-long process and growth, and in those cases where it is accomplished will win its possessors a share in the First Resurrection and the reigning with Christ in His Millennial Kingdom. "IF we endure we shall reign with Him" (2 Tim. 2: 12).
He is "able to guard us from stumbling and to
set us before the
presence of His glory without blemish in exceeding joy," (Jude 24); and will also
do it provided we
are trusting and obeying, and feed continuously upon the Holy
without ceasing. As
says, "Nothing but constant
carry on the soul"
The teaching held by many and taught for nigh a century that if one be a child of God, a member of the Body, sin, worldliness, pleasure, and money-making, etc., will only entail "loss", and that all Christians without exception will be "caught up" at the same moment when the Lord arrives in the air, has wrought immeasurable mischief, and violates as well as misapplies those Scriptures the Lord has mercifully given for the [regenerate] believers’ guidance, counsel, and warning. Let us remember that the proof of our faith is more precious than gold, and shall be found unto praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. 1: 7). We must be acquiescent [submit passively] to His will, and then be quiescent in His will.
– CHAS. S. UTTING.
Fear of Danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than Danger itself, when apparent to the Eyes and we find the Burthen of Anxiety greater, by much, than the Evil which we are anxious about. - DEFOE.