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).

The 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."  Napoleon said that the forces which influence the spirits of men in battle decide for victory or defeat far 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 before giants,  Joshua and Caleb cried, - "We are well able to overcome"; the standard set for the Kingdom is no impossible standard - we can all be 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 of Hosts leads you?  Dare you tremble when at your head is the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace?   The trumpet is already at the lips of the Archangel: who will not play the man?"

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."

Thus 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 from a road skirted on both sides with precipices; grip the plow, and drive the furrow straight and hard, "for no man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking 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 THEN shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have GOOD SUCCESS."  It is extraordinary to find the word ‘success’ on the lips of God; and He knows no success but in obedience to His word.  In the spiritual sphere, as in the physical, faith embodied in action is certain victory.   As Marshal Foch said in the last War:- "I never had any doubt, not for a day or an hour; in war, he who doubts is lost."  The tragedy of Israel is the tragedy of the Church.  One of the greatest tragedies of life - and a total destruction of a Joshua - is the discovery how inexhaustible are the resources of the human heart in finding reasons for not accepting, and not obeying, the Word of God:  the moment the Book taxes our pocket, our reputation, our prejudices, our safety, those Scriptures vanish as if by magic, and excellent reasons are discovered why they should not be obeyed.  That is the total eclipse of a morning star.

But 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."  Our Lord, though invisible, actually stood in the dock beside Paul in chains, as he preached the Gospel to the Antichrist, 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 London.  ‘I found the experience not shattering but strengthening.  Every night one knew that it was possible one might not see another morning.  But with death so near, all the small fears seemed to disappear, and one gained an inner strength to meet the night.  Now I find myself more vitally alive, I think, than ever before.  It is amazing how God gives one strength when the time comes, and death seems now just an entrance into life.  Yet every day on earth seems of greater value.  All the suffering and misery seems to make the glory of Christ brighter’."  A Spanish Protestant (says Evangelical Christendom), after many years of splendid testimony, has just died of starvation in prison; and a friend, who saw him a few hours before his death, says that his face was literally shining with joy. Luther sums it up:- "The Lord reigns; I see Him there as if I could touch Him."

So 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 Red Sea happened at the very moment of the reaping of Firstfruits.  For Israel crossed on the tenth of the first month, Nisan (Josh. 4: 19) - the general date of Harvest; but “the corn ripens three weeks earlier in the plain of Jericho than on the mountains of Hebron and Carmel" (Keil).  So it is the moment of Joshua’s glory. "This day will I begin to MAGNIFY thee in the sight of all Israel."  Joshua, by his wisdom in obeying God in everything, led others into the Kingdom; and so experiences the truth to be uttered later by Daniel (12: 3),"They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."

Thus 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 ye 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 from the Better Land; and it is pregnant with meaning that, one hundred and ten years’ experience of the People of God, and after his own successful entry into the Kingdom, Joshua’s final word to God’s People is a warning like a trumpet-blast. "CHOOSE YE THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL SERVE" (Josh. 24: 15): for "if ye forsake the Lord, then he will turn and do you evil, after that he hath done you good" (ver. 20), Joshua, like our Lord, makes no disguise of the hardships of God’s service, the dangers to which we must pledge ourselves, the costly heroism, the immense horizons; but the warning has one goal, like Paul’s, - "To present you holy and without blemish and unreprovable before him, IF SO BE that ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and not moved away the hope of the gospel" (Col. 1: 23).




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 Scriptures, Praying without ceasing.  As Bonar says, "Nothing but constant intercourse will carry on the soul" or Rutherford, "Many want a cheap Christ, but the price will not come down."  Few pay the price, and few will win the crowns and reign with Christ.

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.


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.