Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying…
1. In that this people was now constrained to look about them, and (now Joshua was dead) to do that themselves for their peace and quiet which he was wont to do for them, we are taught that when special persons are taken away then they who were left behind must put forth themselves and take the more pain than before. The which being so, men should make this use of such changes to provide and learn to want their good helps and friends beforehand. They should also acknowledge daily with hearty thanks to God what a benefit they have of them, while they enjoy them, and do all good that they may by the help of them. Which they cannot do, but they must of necessity feel the loss of them to be very great, and see that they must now lay their shoulders to the burden. For the which purpose this I add — oh, how sweetly and to their good liking have many lived when they had others to bear their burdens for them — as husbands, wives, subjects, children, neighbours: there is no doubt but that (which is the chiefest of all} they have therewith, that God is their friend also. But seeing many depend only on them in a carnal manner, and on their living still with them, and rest not on God, therefore their props fail them, and their desolation cometh upon them as the enemy upon an unarmed man.
2. We are taught here by their example, who sought to God in their doubts for counsel and resolution, that in all our doubtful cases, partly touching our estate towards God, and partly particular duties and actions if our special callings and conditions of life, while we remain here on earth we should consult with and ask counsel of God for our resolution, in such manner as He hath taught us, and in no wise to conceal and bury our wants and defects that trouble us, or pass by the sins that cleave to us, or other difficulties in our dealings and business that oppress us, for so we provide ill for ourselves, even to live in ignorance and sorrow (with ether inconveniences annexed thereunto) for ever after.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?