“Now it came to pass after these things that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being one hundred and ten years old. And they buried him within the border of his inheritance at Timnath Serah, which is in the mountains of Ephraim, on the north side of Mount Gaash. Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the LORD which He had done for Israel.” (Joshua 24:29-32)
Every journey has a beginning and an end. Joshua’s pilgrimage on the Road of Salvation began in Egypt and ended at his inheritance in Canaan. Like Aaron and Moses before him, now it was Joshua’s turn to step into eternity. Somewhere along his journey God had called him as a servant, and then after proving himself, as leader of God’s people. In all faithfulness he had fulfilled his many obligations. At the end of his life we find him as an old man, encouraging his people, urging them to serve God with all their heart. And now he was about to be relieved of his great responsibilities. God had decided that Joshua had completed his life’s work and run his race. Finally, he could go home!
The fruit of Joshua’s service and faithfulness is evidenced by the fact that the following generations, who had experienced God working among them during Joshua’s time, served their God. Sadly, it must be said that after that the people turned away from God, forcing Him to repeatedly judge and discipline them. But under Joshua’s leadership their firm commitment had been: “We will serve the LORD!” Will that be true of our circle of influence also?
Finally at home! Joshua was already living in Canaan on the personal inheritance that God had given him. He had fought for it, and with God’s help been able to secure it. But everyone knows that we don’t have a permanent home here on earth. We’re looking for an eternal abode. The life that we know here on earth is just a time of preparation and testing, after which our real life will begin. And there we will remain forever. Consequently, it is of utmost importance how we live here and now, since that will determine our eternal destiny.
Dear Reader, are you on the Road of Salvation? Is your eternity secured and assured in Jesus? To be lost and in unending agony, without God and without hope, with self-incriminations and regrets which will greatly intensify the torture of the hellfire, is just too overwhelmingly mind-boggling to even grasp! And that even more so because God Himself created and finished the Plan of Salvation on Calvary. Today we still live in the time of grace and God appeals so lovingly: “… let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). Dear friend, at all costs ensure that you have made use of this opportunity and that you are hurrying heavenward of the Road of Salvation!
Finally at Home!
Joshua had ended his earthly pilgrimage and had reached the goal. What will have been waiting for him there?
God’s Word is silent about most of the details of what awaits us in eternity, yet “finally at home” must mean to be present with God and experience the fullness of His glory! Joshua had often been in the Tabernacle, there where God was so near, and witnessed God’s glory. But now he is present in Glory and sees things quite differently with the perspective of eternity! His “eternal eyes” can perceive in many more dimensions than our three-dimensional ones can. One thing is certain: the reality of God’s glory will greatly exceed our ability to imagine it … exponentially! And Joshua is at home, in eternity and in the presence of God, who will forever continue to overwhelm His redeemed. How our heart longs to be there already when we contemplate these things!
Joshua’s eternal inheritance was waiting for him in Glory. Here on earth, God helped him to procure a temporal inheritance in Timnath Serah in Canaan, where his body was later buried. But in eternity Jesus had prepared a place for him that was perfectly designed for his satisfaction. Try to imagine what such an inheritance looks like! Timnath Serah means an “left-over portion,” some land that had been available after the others had chosen theirs. And this hero of the faith had been satisfied with that. He had served God with a thankful heart on the portion allotted to him. But now, his inheritance in eternity! How his Savior will have lovingly rejoiced as He personally prepared a special place for His servant! Finally he was at home, filled with astonishment, wonder, praise, and thanks to the God who had loved His child so much!
“Finally at home” means seeing again our loved ones who have already finished their race. Try to image what Joshua and Moses, Aaron, and Caleb will all have had to reminisce about there! And how about later, when Jesus was sent down to earth to suffer and die as Lamb of God! Were they able to follow along as He redeemed the world? We read in Luke 9 that on the Mount of Transfiguration Moses and Elijah conferred with Jesus about His imminent death in Jerusalem. Somehow these Old Testament heroes of the faith already in eternity had access to the suffering and dying of Jesus as Savior here on earth! We can’t imagine anything else but that all heaven was watching! All of God’s works are of intense interest to those in Glory and will continue to be so as eternity progresses!
And then, the pinnacle, Jesus! The Lamb of God! We don’t know how much Joshua, having lived in the Old Testament, was able to understand about Him, but let’s consider it from our perspective. Joshua was familiar with the Paschal Lamb and knew that this innocent life had been sacrificed for him. In his lifetime, Joshua didn’t know it represented Jesus, the Son of God, but we are privileged to understand all these things. Let’s try to imagine arriving in the presence of the Almighty and seeing One sitting on a throne who somehow resembles a lamb that was slain. We see how all those around us fall down and worship at His feet, and we’re overwhelmed by the fact that Jesus is God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, but also our Savior and Redeemer! He is the fulfillment of the Passover, the Law, the system of Old Testament sacrifices, and the whole Plan of Salvation! How our hearts will be flooded with love and thankfulness! Without a doubt, we too will join all the others there, throwing ourselves at Jesus’ feet, and worshiping our God along with them! Joshua did not know Jesus as Savior of the world during his life here on earth, but we can know Him, love Him, and serve Him. There in eternity, we too will proclaim with unending praise and thanks: “I am finally at home! This is what my soul longed for so long!”
Finally at home! Do you joyfully anticipate the moment when you will end your pilgrimage on earth, will lay down your cross with all its burdens and responsibilities, and can be with Jesus? Only if you are on the Road of Salvation do following concepts have any meaning: redeemed from Egypt, passed through the “Red Sea” of the New Birth and added to the church of God by God Himself, been found faithful on the Way of Faith, entered into the rest of passing through the Jordan into the Canaan of Entire Sanctification, having sought an inheritance there and now working and waiting for the moment when God calls you home! The apostle Paul describes this as follows: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). That must be our goal: finally to come home! My journey on the Road of Salvation completed!