Obrazy na stronie

know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty.” And the Israelites kept the Passover, on the fourteenth day of the month, at even, in the plains of Jericho: and they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, and the manna ceased on that day.

“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand. And Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries ? And he said, Nay, but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant ? And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so." We may clearly perceive that this “MAN” whom Joshua worshipped, and in whose awful presence he was commanded, (as Moses had been at the burning bush in Horeb,) to put off his shoes from his feet, could be no other

than the manifested Deity — Jehovah in human form—the same divine Person that had appeared unto Abraham, Jacob, and Moses, and who now, as Captain of the Lord's host, came to encourage and strengthen his servant Joshua.

CHAP. LIV.-“Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel.” “And Jehovah said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho and the king thereof and the mighty men of valour.” And, by the command of the Lord, the Israelites compassed the city seven days—the priests bearing before them the ark of the Lord. And on the seventh day, as the priests blew a long blast with ram's horns," the wall of the city fell down flat.” And Joshua took the city and destroyed the inhabitants; save that the two spies, who had been sheltered by Rahab, went to her house, and brought her, “ and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had, and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.” By faith,says the Apostle, “the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith, the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” Inadequate indeed, to the view of human reason, were the means by which this city was taken, and all the enemies of Israel slain with the sword. Thus it is, in the experience of the christian disciple, who, relying not on his own strength or prowess, but depending only on the guidance and omnipotence of his heavenly captain, can wage war in righteousness against all that opposes his advancement towards the celestial Canaan. So, also, is the company of faithful believers — the visibly gathered church of God-rendered powerful to subdue the dominion of Satan. May the Almighty Ruler of the universe be graciously pleased to hasten the day, when His people, of every name and clime, regardless of distinctive notions on questions not essential to salvation, may, as one united host, take unto them “the whole armour of God,” “ having their feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;" and, in the invincible might of the Spirit of Truth, become effectually instrumental to establish, throughout the nations of the earth, the government of Him, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;" and of bringing many immortal spirits from under the power of darkness, into that kingdom, which consists in “righteousness, peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghost.” But the mind that hallows the Name of our Father who is in heaven, and fervently breathes the prayer, “Thy kingdom come: Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven;" may naturally admit the discouraging suggestion, which filled with dismay the heart of Joshua, when Israel, at Ai, “could not stand before their enemies”-“ Oh Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies ?” The conviction must be admitted, that, in the professing Church of Christ, there is, in wide extent, the prevalence of Achan's spirit, of which his true confession must be made, “When I saw among the spoils, a goodly Babylonish garment, and an hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them, and behold they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent.”

When the accursed thing which Achan had

coveted and taken from the spoils of Jericho, was destroyed, and the transgressor removed from the camp of Israel, the people of God were again victorious over every foe. And, in commemoration of the mighty acts of Jehovah, His servant “ Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel, in Mount Ebal ;” according as Moses had commanded him, saying, “ Thou shall set up great stones, and plaister them with plaister, and thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law.” “Thou shalt build the altar of the Lord thy God of whole stones.” “ Thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them.” And Joshua “ wrote there upon the stones, a copy of the law of Moses”—he wrote upon the stones " in the presence of the children of Israel.” How interesting is it that, at the present time, many such stones, some of them plaistered as Moses directed, are found to be inscribed in the ancient languages and dialects of that country, where such wondrous events occurred! But the all-important object, at which the Christian should continually aim, is that he may be included in the New Covenant of life and peace, and experience

« PoprzedniaDalej »