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1. Now, first, as is very obvious, Joshua is a type of our Lord Jesus Christ, as regards his name; for Joshua is in Hebrew what Jesus is in Greek. When we think what high things are told us in the New Testament concerning the Name of Jesus, what reverence towards it is enjoined us, and what virtue is ascribed to it, who can doubt that it is a very significant circumstance indeed, that the successor of Moses should bear it? This circumstance leads us from the first to expect that the history of Joshua will contain much in it bearing upon the blessed times of the Gospel. If that name is put upon him, which in due season the Angel was to announce as the earthly name of the Son of God—that Name which was to be above every name, at which every knee was to bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; that Name which was to cast out devils, to restore the crippled, and to do many wonderful works; that Name, which is like ointment poured out, and which shall endure for ever among the posterities--how should not some large bountifulness in act accompany such grace in word ? Let it be observed, that his name was originally Oshea, and was changed into Joshua by Moses. Surely the change was not made for nothing. We see the meaning of it; it is as if a silent sign, made to us by the Allmerciful God, that even then He had before Him the thought of redemption, and of us, and of the reign of grace and truth,
2. And again, this too should be observed: that whereas the successor of Moses was called Joshua, or Jesus, so did he singularly typify the Saviour of men by
an act of grace which he exercised, and that in the case of an enemy. Up to his time, many instances as there were of the faith of saints, there is no instance recorded of the faith of a sinner. St. Paul says, that by "faith the elders obtained a good report." He mentions the faith of righteous Abel; of Enoch, who walked with God; of Noah, that preacher of righteousness, whose name was worthy to be associated with the names of Daniel and Job, in exemplifying the holiness which might save guilty cities; of Abraham, the friend of God, whose sanctity so availed with God, that He bid not from him what He was about to do; of blameless Isaac; of Jacob, righteous and holy himself, even if his history form a typical anticipation of Gospel grace; of Joseph, tried and tempted, yet without transgressing, from his youth up; of Moses, the meekest man upon earth. Of him the Apostle speaks, the immediate predecessor of Joshua; nay, he speaks perchance of Joshua himself, when he says, “By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days." Down to Joshua's day, no instance appears but of the faith of saints; but in the next verse, and in Joshua's history, we have a different specimen. “By faith, the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” Now, why this change? why have we at once
a sinful woman spared and admitted into covenant on her faithnay, privileged in the event to be the ancestress of our Lord; except that in Joshua the reign of that Saviour is typified, and that the pardon of a sinner is its most appropriate attendant? The word “Jesus” means the
Saviour; it has reference then to sinners. “not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” “Scarcely for a righteous man will one die;" but “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." As then Joshua had the Name, so did he exercise the Office also of our Lord; and his first act is one of mercy. Before he enters the land, while he and she are yet a great way apart, she does an act of faith, and he, by his representatives, an act of grace. And so, when he comes to the city of evil, and encompasses it with trumpets, and takes and destroys it utterly; in that day of doom she has bound the scarlet line across her window, and her house becomes a Church, and she and all who take refuge in it are saved. Such is the history of Rahab, recalling to our minds that favoured and blessed penitent, “the woman which was a sinner," who came and stood at our Lord's feet behind Him, in silence and in tears; and to whom He uttered the gracious words, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in
3. And as Joshua answers to our Lord in his name and in his clemency, so too does he in his mode of appointment. When Christ came, He inherited the earth by the right of His heavenly Father, and by no earthly pretension. He came not as the emperor of the world, or as a claimant of any earthly throne; nor was He of the priestly line; but “without father, without mother, without descent," as far as any temporal prerogative filowed from it; born miraculously; prospered miraculously; “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor 1 Rom. v. 7, 8.
; Luke vii. 37-50,
of the will of man, but of God!." And here, too, Joshua was the type of Jesus. Moses was not told to appoint one of his own sons as his successor; nor did he betake himself to the family of Aaron; nor to the tribe of Judah, from which the Shiloh Himself was to be born. But he chose Joshua, who had no claim or title to be chosen ; and when he had to set him apart for his work, what was his ceremonial? Did he use oil, or offer sacrifice, or in any other way comply with the rites of the Law ? No; he consecrated him, not in a legal, but in a Gospel way; he prefigured in him the ministers of Christ and soldiers of His Church. “The Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; ...
.. and thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient;" and this he was to do, that “ the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.” “ And Moses did as the Lord commanded him ;" "he took Joshua, ... and laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses."
4. And in the next place, let it be observed, that whereas Joshua was chosen not by man, but at God's will; so, too, in a special way did God's choice end in Him. He did not receive it by inheritance, nor are heirs mentioned to whom he left it. Others indeed, as Moses, and as Samuel, were vouchsafed God's favour, yet not allowed to transmit it to their children; but there is this peculiarity in Joshua's history, as recorded 1 John i. 13.
3 Numb. xxvii. 17-23.
in the book bearing his name, that at least there is no record of children, who might have been his heirs; nor mention of any special inheritance in Canaan. He who divided the land by lot, who gave to each his portion to enjoy, is allotted in the sacred history neither wife, nor children, nor choice possession. As to the other servants of God in the Old Testament, we read of their wives and their children, and their children's children. We read of their sitting under their vine and their fig-tree; of a blessing on the fruit of their body, and the fruit of their ground," and the fruit of their “kine and sheep.” “Blessed of the Lord shall be his land,” says Moses, of Joshua's own tribe, and of Manasseh ; " for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,... and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof?.” And Solomon exhorts, “Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, . . . for that is thy portion.” And yet in spite of this, Joshua seems to lack these peculiar blessings of the covenant under which he lived.
Take, by way of contrast, the history of Caleb. He and Joshua were the two spies who alone had been faithful out of the twelve who went to view the land forty years before they entered it. Here are two 1 Deut. xxviii. 4 · Deut. xxxii. 13, 14.
Eccles. ix. 7-9