Syd Maynard - September 6, 1939

Joshua 1, Joshua was now being called to fill the place that Moses had faithfully filled, and nice to notice how God tried to encourage him, and the prospects and possibilities which He put before him. God sought to strengthen his heart with hope etc., as well as showing him the responsibilities. Nice if we too, could see the two sides so that we could have a balanced place in life. Now Joshua was to lead the people and every place that the sole of their feet had trodden would be theirs; not just what their eyes had seen. This was an encouragement to them to step on to new ground. There is something in every step we take that helps us, and makes it possible for us to help others also. We have got to step on new ground and go through fresh experiences, but there is a tendency to shrink from things that we have never done before. It was God's purpose at this time to take Moses away. .1 noticed too how Jesus said it was necessary that He should leave them (John 14:3, 28) because it made something possible to them that otherwise was not possible. So we see that if conditions were such as we had always been used to, there would not be any possibility of God doing a greater work in our lives.

Verse 4, God shows Joshua the boundary lines; this brought to my mind those lines ­"A sea of possibilities, and I upon the shore." As Joshua looked over that, it must have opened up to him many possibilities. Forty years at least had passed over and yet he was only on the threshold of possibilities. The possibilities presented difficult­ies. It was true that they were just now on the border of the land, but they were just now in touch with the enemies; but it was this that was going to enrich them in giving them an inheritance.

Verse 5: Shows what there was to inherit, and God could say to Joshua, "As I have been with Moses, so will I be with thee etc;" He had trod the path with Moses for 40 years and had seen him tried under circumstances and conditions, but He stood by him in it all. All this would be a quiet yet encouraging thought to Joshua. Even today, God loves to give us something to ponder over.

I like also the 6th verse. He was going to be the means of causing others to enter into their inheritance. Nice to think that the part we play, if faithful, it might mean somebody entering into their inheritance. When Joshua thought of those souls who had struggled on, he would feel that it will surely mean something to be able to lead these people. Surely we would like to see every soul that has proved faithful, get something that they could feel was their own, and God-given. When we have got a heritage, we have something by which we can feed and help others. The wilderness didn't seem to have very much in it; it would seem God was testing them to the uttermost - they didn't have much to cheer them in the desert sands, the burning sun, but they could see now the purpose God had in His heart, to give them the land for a possession - their heritage.

In verse 8, He was speaking to Joshua about his own personal life. Often we would just think that so much depended on that side of our lives. Possibly Joshua would not have put the value on this that was attached to it; rather might he have been taken up with the ammunition he needed and many other similar things. God wants us to see the importance of reading and meditation. God wants this to govern our lives and for us to make this the rule of our conduct. The book of the Law was something that touched every part of their lives. Now it is not something wonderful that we can do that is going to bring prosperity, but if we govern our lives secretly and otherwise, according to what God has laid down for us, there is nothing ahead of us but prosperity. Paul sought to show Timothy the importance of meditating: on God's word when he said, I Timothy 4:15, "Meditate on these things, give thyself wholly to them." Others then would see the progress in his life which might help and appeal to them. Sometimes the children of God are impoverished, and it is not by chance, but because we have neglected to give ourselves wholly to these things. Now Joshua laid this to heart, and at the end of his life he was a prosperous man. He kept the border line to the end - the border line of his heritage.

Verse 12, these 2 1/2 tribes might have felt they had got their inheritances to settle down, but yet they went over to fight the battles and (end of verse 15) it is not only possessing it but enjoying it. How could they have enjoyed it, if they had thought that others had fought and won it for them? Wouldn't it be a great comfort to us when we enter into our heritage, when we have helped our brethren and haven't acted selfishly? It brought a sweetness into their lives. I don't know any thought that I would like to have in Eternity more than that the part I played helped others to have a heritage. Seven years later, he called them together and he said they had stood by their brethren, and he blessed them, and told them to return to their in­heritance and they came back with much spoil. Now they might have thought of what they were losing - 7 years away from their inheritance, but it says they returned with much treasure and riches. Now, you and I will never suffer loss by what we seem to sacrifice in trying to help others into the heritage that God wants them to have.

There was one man who didn't do this - that was Achan. He looked on things selfishly. He laid his hands on something for himself. He got this treasure through a God-given victory. Perhaps after we've had a good meeting, we go away and take a little credit to ourselves, instead of realising that it was God. You remember how they were de­feated. How nice on the other hand that Joshua thought upon God's name in it all. In the case of Achan, this all resulted from the selfishness in his heart being put into action. These things should cause us to fear, because what worked in Achan's heart can work in ours too. We will either see what we are going to get out of this, or else we'll see what our lives can be for God and others. When we are born into God's family, we are brought into the place where we have an influence on others. If a child died when a few weeks old, it would cause sorrow - a few months - and it would mean more sor­row, and so the sorrow would increase with the years. Judas didn't think that what he had done would affect things very much. Wouldn't it be good if we could live with the two sides before us, and remember if we are really faithful, we are going to be a real blessing? Who are the people that are going to have the most to help others? The ones who share other people’s battles and difficulties. There is a great deal to keep a wholesome fear in our hearts, and on the other hand to strengthen and keep us in the place where our lives can bear a testimony which we will not be ashamed to leave behind us.