Words of Divine Comfort, Octavius Winslow— 1872
“Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.” Joshua 23:14
There is no testimony to the faithfulness of God in His Word so convincing and touching as that of the dying believer. If ever a man is sincere, it is then. If ever the veil is laid aside and the soul appears real and undisguised, be it a saint or a sinner, it is at that solemn moment. No motive now exists for the false, and no cloud can conceal the true; the coin that has passed current with many for genuine is now found to be counterfeit, and that which many regarded as counterfeit–even the possessor himself–proves to be genuine! Nature now appears to be but nature; and grace, vindicating its true character, proves itself grace. The specious hope dies, and the true hope gathers life; the false faith sinks, and the real rises; and the timid believer, who went doubting and trembling all the way to Jordan’s brink, plunges boldly into the river, and passes over to the other side, with the paean of triumph breathing sweetly from his lips, “O Death, where is your sting? O Grave, where is your victory?”
Such is the picture which the position of Joshua now presents to our view. He is standing upon the sunny slope, and before the soles of his feet smite the cold waters, he casts a back glance upon all the way the Lord his God had brought him; and in words the most emphatic and impressive, testifies to the divine faithfulness and unchanging love of his covenant God in making good all His great and precious promises He had so graciously given, “Not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord, your God, spoke unto you; all are come to pass.”
Such is the divine assurance with which we conclude our daily thoughts. What more precious truth, blended with sweeter melody, could linger upon the ear as we close the volume than this–God’s faithfulness in the fulfillment of His Word? Let us look at this truth as confirmed by the experience, first, of the living, and then of the dying believer, for both are God’s witnesses.
What is the life of the child of God but a continuous experience of the truth of His Word, and the veracity of His promises? You have, perhaps, been placed in trying circumstances; resources have lessened and demands have increased; your faith has been sharply tried; your spirits depressed; the sky has lowered and the waters have risen; but lo! the Spirit, the Comforter, has guided you to some precious promise which has just met your case. It has touched your heart, moistened your eye, uplifted the pressure, and your whole soul has been, as it were, absorbed in God. And now the harp that hung sad and mute upon the willow is taken down, and thrills with a new song of praise and thanksgiving to the faithfulness of God in the fulfillment of His Word.
Yes, my soul, you can testify to the truth that every sweet invitation and precious promise and loving word of Jesus, upon which He causes your soul to rest in its grief and desolation, has come to pass–not one word has failed. This is a clear proof of God’s veracity in the making good His every word of promise. Has He not promised to provide for you? then trust Him. Has He not pledged Himself to guide you? then commit your way to Him. Has He not undertaken to save you? then believe His Word and pray–“Say unto my soul, I am your salvation.”
Soon the living witness to the faithfulness of the Lord in His Word will become the dying one. When heart and flesh are failing–when the solemn curtain of eternity is rising–when the eye is darkening, and the pulse is sinking, and earth is receding, and eternity is nearing, and, heaven is opening, oh, then, like Joshua, you shall testify to the unchanging love and faithful word and precious comforts and secure supports of your covenant God and redeeming Savior, as He gently leads you down the valley, radiant with His presence, resounding with your song–up the delectable mountains, home to your Father’s House–“Forever with the Lord!