From Eternity Past


Chapter 44—Crossing the Jordan

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

Never till their departed leader was taken from them had the Israelites so fully realized the value of his wise counsels, his parental tenderness, and his unswerving faith. EP 341.1

Moses was dead, but his influence was to live on. As the glow of the descending sun lights up mountain peaks after the sun has sunk behind the hills, so the works of the holy and the good shed light upon the world long after the actors themselves have passed away. “The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.” Psalm 112:6. EP 341.2

While the people were filled with grief at their great loss, they were not left alone. The pillar of cloud rested over the tabernacle by day and the pillar of fire by night. God would still be their guide and helper if they would walk in the way of His commandments. EP 341.3

Joshua was now the acknowledged leader of Israel. Courageous, persevering, unmindful of self, and, above all, inspired by a living faith in God—such was the character of the man chosen to conduct the armies of Israel. 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. EP 341.4

With great anxiety Joshua looked forward to the work before him; but his fears were removed by the assurance of God, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee... . Unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.” “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you.” “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses My servant commanded... . This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night.” “Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left ... for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” EP 341.5

“Arise,” had been the first message of God to Joshua, “go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them.” Joshua knew that whatever God should command, He would make a way for His people to perform. In this faith the intrepid leader at once began arrangements for an advance. EP 342.1

Just opposite where the Israelites encamped was the strongly fortified city of Jericho, the key to the whole country. It would present a formidable obstacle to Israel. Joshua therefore sent two young men as spies to ascertain something as to its population, resources, and strength of fortifications. The inhabitants of the city, terrified and suspicious, were on the alert, and the messengers were in great danger. They were, however, preserved by Rahab, a woman of Jericho, at the peril of her own life. In return for her kindness, they gave her a promise of protection when the city should be taken. EP 342.2