“That year they ate the produce of Canaan.” -Joshua 5:12
Israel’s weary wanderings were all over, and the promised rest was attained. No more moving tents, fiery serpents, fierce Amalekites, and howling wildernesses: they came to the land which flowed with milk and honey, and they ate the old corn of the land. Perhaps this year, beloved Christian reader, this may be thy case or mine. This prospect is exciting. If we exercise our faith, it will yield pure joy. To be with Jesus in the rest which is waiting for the people of God, is a cheerful hope indeed, and to expect this glory sooner than later is a double bliss. Unbelief shudders at the Jordan which still rolls between us and the heavenly land, but let us rest assured that we have already experienced more ills than death at its worst can cause us. Let us banish every fearful thought, and rejoice with exceeding great joy, in the prospect that this year we shall begin to be “forever with the Lord.”
A part of the host will stay on earth this year to serve their Lord. If this should be our lot, there is no reason why the New Year’s text should not still be true. “We who have believed enter that rest.” The Holy Spirit is the promise guaranteeing our inheritance; he gives us “glory begun below.” In heaven they are secure, and we are preserved in Christ Jesus also; there they triumph over their enemies, and we have victories too. Celestial spirits enjoy communion with their Lord, and so do we; they rest in his love, and we have perfect peace in him: they hymn his praise, and it is our privilege to bless him too. During this year we will gather a heavenly harvest on earthly ground, where faith and hope turn a desert into the garden of the Lord. Humanity ate angels’ food long ago, and why can’t we now? O for grace to feed on Jesus, and so to eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan this year!