Beginning of the End


Crossing the Jordan

This chapter is based on Joshua 1 to 5:12.

It was not until their faithful leader was taken from them did the Israelites fully realize the value of his wise counsels, his parental tenderness, and his unswerving faith. BOE 239.1

Moses was dead, but his influence would live on. After the sun has sunk behind the hills, its glow still lights up the mountain peaks; so the works of the pure, holy, and the good shed light on the world long after those who performed these deeds have passed away. “The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance” (Psalm 112:6). BOE 239.2

While the people were filled with grief at their great loss, they were not left alone. The pillar of cloud rested over the tabernacle during the day and the pillar of fire at night. God was still willing to be their guide and helper if they would walk in the way of His commandments. BOE 239.3

Joshua was now the recognized leader of Israel. Courageous, persistent, not thinking of himself, and above all, inspired by a living faith in God—this was the kind of man God chose to lead the armies of Israel. He had acted as prime minister to Moses, and by his quiet, sincere faithfulness, his firmness when others hesitated, his determination to keep the truth in the middle of danger, he had shown his fitness to be the next leader after Moses. BOE 239.4

Joshua looked to the work before him with great anxiety, but the assurance of God removed his fears: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will not leave you nor forsake you. ... To this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.” “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you.” “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded. ... This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night.” “Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left. ... For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” BOE 239.5

“Arise,” had been the first message of God to Joshua, “go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them.” Joshua knew that whatever God would command, He would make a way for His people to carry out. With this faith, the courageous leader immediately began preparations for an advance. BOE 239.6

Just across from the Israelites’ camp was the strongly fortified city of Jericho, the key to the whole country. It would present a major obstacle to Israel. So, Joshua sent two young men as spies to learn something about its population, resources, and strength of fortifications. The people in the city, terrified and suspicious, were on the alert, and the messengers were in great danger. But they were preserved by Rahab, a woman of Jericho, at the risk of her own life. In return for her kindness, they promised her protection when the city would be taken. BOE 240.1