Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“[Moses commanded the people], “Encourage [Joshua].”
God uses His people to encourage one another. He did not say to an angel, “My servant Joshua is about to lead my people into Canaan—so go and encourage him!” God never works needless miracles. If his purposes can be accomplished by ordinary means, he will not use the miraculous. Gabriel would not have been half as well suited for the work as Moses. A brother’s sympathy is more precious than an angel’s embassy. An angel is more familiar with the Master’s commands than with the people’s temper. An angel had never experienced the hardness of the road, nor seen the fiery serpents, nor had he led the stiff-necked multitude in the wilderness as Moses had done. We should be glad that God usually works for man by man. It forms a bond of brotherhood; being mutually dependent on one another, we are fused more completely into one family.
Brothers, take this text as God’s message to you. Strive to help others, and especially to encourage them. Talk cheerfully to the young and anxious inquirer; lovingly try to remove stumbling blocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road in his own time but tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, and of the charms of communion with Christ.
Aim to comfort the sorrowful and to animate the desponding. Speak a word in season to him that is weary, and encourage those who are fearful to go on their way with gladness. God encourages you by his promises; Christ encourages you as he points to the heaven he has won for you; the Spirit encourages you as he works in you to will and to do of his good pleasure. Imitate divine wisdom, and encourage others according to the word you have heard this evening. [M&E]