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Daily Devotionals
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: March 25th

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“Judge not that ye be not judged.”

Joshua 22:1-6 , Joshua 22:10-20

Joshua 22:1-3

It is simple justice to give praise wherever it is deserved. There is a notion abroad, that to commend is dangerous, but wise men of old did not think so. While faultfinding is so abundant, it is refreshing to meet with a man who can speak in praise of his fellows. It is not so very common for men to be thoroughly true to their engagements, and when they are so, they ought to have it mentioned to their honour.

Joshua 22:4 , Joshua 22:5

Having praised them, Joshua now directs them to their further duty. The terms of his exhortation deserve careful notice. They were to do the commandment their religion must be practical; they were to love the Lord their service must be hearty and sincere; they were to walk in all his ways their obedience must be universal; they were to cleave to him it must be persevering. Many excellent graces make up a. believers obedience, and the lack of any one will grievously mar it. Who but the Spirit of God can produce all these good things in fallen man?

Joshua 22:6 , Joshua 22:10

Not a wise thing, because not commanded of

God, and very liable both to be misunderstood by others, and misused by themselves.

Joshua 22:12

A departure from God by setting up another altar in opposition to that of the tabernacle was apprehended, and right zealously the loyal spirit of Israel resolved to nip the evil in the bud. Was there not, however, rather too great sharpness of temper in talking so speedily of civil war?

Joshua 22:13 , Joshua 22:14

We should hear before we judge. Israel did not rush into strife, but sent prudent men to see how the case really stood, and what their brethren had to say.

Joshua 22:16

Here they stated the case and the cause of their anger. Had their suspicions been correct their anger would have needed no further justification.

Joshua 22:17 , Joshua 22:18

They here show that the sin of a part might bring evil upon the whole community, and therefore they meant to stamp out the evil before it spread further.

Joshua 22:19

With true generosity they offer them a possession on their own side of Jordan, if their position across the river had driven them into setting up another altar. To enable a man to correct an error without great loss to himself is a great help towards getting him right. The pleading of the tribes with their brethren was very practical, earnest, decided, and generous.

Joshua 22:20

This judgment was fresh in their memories, and therefore, they finished their argument with it. They feared that their brethren were about to do very wrong, and to bring upon all Israel much mischief, and therefore they spoke warmly. O that we were all zealous to prevent sin in the family, and in ourselves, God still chastens those he has chosen, and though in this life the wicked may go unpunished, his own children shall not be left without chastisement. Let us walk humbly and jealously before the Lord.

To God the Father, God the Son,

And God the Spirit, three in one,

Be honour, praise, and glory given

By all on earth, and all in heaven.

Our ears have heard, O glorious God,

What work thou did’st of old;

And how the heathen felt thy rod

Our fathers oft have told.

‘Twas not thy people’s arm or sword,

But only thy right hand,

Which scatter’d all the race abhorr’d,

And gave thy tribes their land.

In thee alone we make our boasts,

And glory all day long,

Arise at once, thou Lord of hosts,

And fill our mouth with song.

Let us, with a gladsome mind,

Praise the Lord, for he is kind:

For his mercies shall endure,

Ever faithful, ever sure.

He his chosen race did bless

In the wasteful wilderness:

For his mercies shall endure,

Ever faithful, ever sure.

He hath, with a piteous eye,

Look’d upon our misery:

For his mercies shall endure,

Ever faithful, ever sure.

My name is entered on the list,

I’ve plighted hand and word,

To fight to death for Jesus Christ,

And conquer for my Lord.

And I will prove my vow sincere,

If he my helper be;

Nor all his foemen will I fear,

Since he upholdeth me.

May the grace of Christ our Saviour,

And the Father’s boundless love,

With the Holy Spirit’s favour,

Rest upon us from above;

Thus may we abide in union

With each other and the Lord;

And possess, in sweet communion,

Joys which earth cannot afford.

Jesus thy perfect love reveal,

My Alpha and Omega be,

And I thy blessed words shall feel

And witness them fulfill’d in me:

“Nothing hath fail’d of all the good,

My Saviour hath performed the whole,”

Firm to his promise he hath stood

I witness this with all my soul.


“A soft answer turneth away wrath.”

Joshua 22:21-34

The tribes on the other side of Jordan received the deputation with courtesy, and answered for themselves without anger.

Joshua 22:23

In the sincerity of their hearts they appealed to God that they had no idea of offering sacrifice anywhere but at the one appointed altar. Appeals to God must never be lightly made, nor in any case where anything less than the highest interests are concerned. It is consoling to feel that God knows our motives, but we must do our best so to act that God’s people shall also know what we aim at.

Joshua 22:24-27

They feared lest they should lose the means of grace, and lest the Jordan should become a line of division between them and their brethren at some future time.

Joshua 22:28 , Joshua 22:29

Their intention was thus shown to be honest, though the action had a very doubtful appearance. We are bound, however, never to put a worse construction than we can help upon other peoples’ conduct.

Joshua 22:31

Religious quarrels are usually very fierce, but in this case true wisdom ended the strife. When one is ready to explain, and the other willing to receive the explanation, difficulties will soon be got over. May all differences in this family be handled wisely and tenderly, and peace and love ever rule among us.

Joshua 22:32 , Joshua 22:33

Zeal for the truth made Israel prepare for war, but they were not hot-headed as some are in these days. Once enabled to believe well of their brethren, they were glad of it, and gave God thanks that doubtful matters were cleared up. It is well to watch over others with holy jealousy, but not to be rancorous and bitter.

Joshua 22:34

children of Gad called the altar Ed, or witness

Thus all ended well, and true religion ruled on both sides the Jordan. When shall our land become one again, knowing only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism?

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