The Bible in Our Changing World

MEMORY VERSE: “The grass withereth, the flowers fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.” —Isaiah 40:8

JOSHUA 1:1-9

OUR memory verse, in symbolic language, presents a meaningful lesson to us in connection with the divine plan. It speaks of the grass withering and the flower fading, and in the preceding verse we read, “Surely the people is grass.” While grass does wither, the lesson here concerns people—the whole world of mankind—who “wither” and go down into death.

This symbolism is used by Moses concerning men. Psalm 90:3-6 reads, “Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are … asleep; in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth … in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.”

The “morning” here referred to by Moses could be the closing era of the sixth creative day. (Gen. 1:31) It was then that man was created, and for a time he flourished, but in the “evening” of the seventh day he became like the grass that withereth. How thankful we are, though, that while man was turned to destruction by reason of sin, he will, in God’s due time, be summoned forth from death, “when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.”—John 5:25

The word “Joshua” is the Hebrew form of Jesus. Following the death of Moses the people of Israel obeyed Joshua, who was “full of the spirit of wisdom,” as the successor to Moses. Moses delivered the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt, but they got no farther than the wilderness. Joshua took them across the River Jordan and into the Promised Land and supervised the division of the land among the various tribes.

God promised to be with Joshua as he was with Moses. Like Moses, Joshua was exalted before Israel. (Josh. 3:7) Like Moses, Joshua was to be of good courage, and thus a wholesome example to his people, the Israelites.

Moses gave the Law to God’s people, and Joshua was commissioned to be its guardian. (vs. 8) Joshua was to meditate upon the Law day and night. He was assured that by being faithful to the Law he would enjoy the Lord’s blessing, or have “good success” These assurances applied to Joshua and the Israelites under the Law in a very literal sense, and from a spiritual standpoint we can apply them to ourselves at the present time. We have the assurance of spiritual prosperity if we are faithful; although this is a prosperity we can and do enjoy, even though, if it is the Lord’s will, we may dwell in poverty along material lines.

ISAIAH 40:6-8

See comments on memory verse at the beginning of the lesson.

JOHN 8:12

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Through the Law, Moses brought a measure of light to the Israelites; and by encouraging obedience to that law Joshua did the same. But Jesus is the real light of the world, not only of Israel but of all mankind.

The nonfollowers of Jesus are not blessed with this “light of life” at the present time, their opportunity awaiting the Millennial Age. But those who are drawn to the Lord during the present age are presented with the conditions whereby they might even now, upon the basis of faith, be blessed by “the light of life”

Those conditions consist of repentance from sin, and the full dedication of oneself to know and do the Heavenly Father’s will. This means that their walk in life becomes a sacrificial one.


What is represented by the withering grass of our memory verse?

What were some of the similarities between the service of Moses and the service of Joshua?

When will Jesus be that true light which will enlighten every man that cometh into the world?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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