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JOSHUA Xxiv. 17—31.
First, God's people are extremely ready to promise; they cheerfully covenant to serve the LORD.
Secondly, They render a reason. He is the LORD our God, who hath brought us and our fathers out of the house of bondage; he hath preserved us in all the way wherein we went; he hath driven out our enemies, and we will serve the LORD, for he is our God.
Thirdly, And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgression nor your sins. If ye forsake the LORD and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you after that he hath done you good.
Fourthly, The people reply, Nay, but we will serve the LORD. Fifthly, And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves, that ye have chosen you the LORD to serve him; and they said, We are witnesses. Job xv. 6, "Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I, yea, thine own lips testify against thee." Luke xix. 22, "Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee."
Sixthly, Joshua made a covenant with the people the same day. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone and set it up for a witness. Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God; so Joshua let the people depart every man to his inheritance.
Seventhly, This was Joshua's last act. After these things, Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD died, and was buried in the border of his inheritance.
Eightly, And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders, that survived Joshua: who had known the wonderful works which the LORD had wrought for Israel.
First, We have considered Joshua as a type of the Redeemer, in a variety of views; but the propriety of thus regarding him, is abundantly manifest in this closing scene. He exhibits to the people which he loved, the words and works of his God, and their Ged, and this is done for the purpose of inducing them to love, and consequently to serve the only true God. Secondly, He knew that they had, at that moment, strange gods in their possession. Thirdly, Things inanimate are produced as witnesses for God. The Almighty never leaves himself without a witness. The visible things of the creation testify of him. Lastly, Canaan or the promised land, is not a type of heaven; for the Cananite still remained in the land. Slay them not, said God, lest my people forget; but in heaven there will be nothing to annoy. Canaan is a striking figure of that rest into which the believer enters, consequent upon believing. And this rest, while he abideth here, is imperfect; the thorn in the flesh remains to buffet him, and thus he is kept humble, and thus his heart is taught to swell with gratitude, while he hears the God of his salvation declareMy grace is sufficient for thee. In the beloved, thou art accepted.
JUDGES ii. 1-5.
First, WHO are we to understand by the angel of the LORD? The Jews say, Some prophet; but christians more properly pronounce this angel, the angel of the covenant. Malachi iii. 1, "Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in behold he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts." Exodus xix. 19, "And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder, and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice." Exodus xxxii, 34, "Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto VOL. III.
thee. Behold, mine angel shall go before thee: nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them."
Secondly, I made you to go up out of Egypt and have brought you into the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. Genesis xxiv. 7, "The LORD God of heaven which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land: he shall send his angel before thee." Psalm lxxxix. 34, "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips."
Thirdly, This angel of the covenant said, ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of the land. Deuteronomy vii. 2, "And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them." 2 Corinthians vi. 16, "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." Deuteronomy xii. 3, "And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire, and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place."
Fourthly, But saith the angel, ye have not obeyed my voice. Why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.
Fifthly, And it came to pass when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. And they called the name of that place Bochim, and they sacrificed there unto the LORD. 1 Samuel vii. 6, "And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD."
First, The invisible God has in a variety of instances manifested himself to his children, first as an angel, and secondly as a man. Secondly, These manifestations are for the purpose of bringing individuals to a sense of their transgressions: and of
humbling them preparatory to their exaltation. Thirdly, When the people see and feel their errors, and supplicate God to have mercy upon them, he hears, and grants their request. Fourthly, We are hence encouraged, even in temporal evils, to look unto the LORD, to the great propitiation for sin, without whose blood shedding there could be no remission. Lastly, All Israel will, by this angel of the covenant, be ultimately brought with weeping and supplication, home to God.
JUDGES V. 1-11.
First, CONSEQUENT on the complete victory given by Jehovah, to the people of his election, Deborah and Barak utter a song of praise. Thus Moses, on a similar occasion, manifested his sense of divine goodness. Exodus xv. 1, "I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea."
Secondly, This victory was given by the Most High, for the purpose of avenging his people.
Thirdly, Deborah and Barak call upon kings and princes, to listen to the praises of their conquering God.
Fourthly, In this song of praise there is a brief recapitulation, of the acts of goodness, which God had vouchsafed toward them, even from their departure from Seir. (Seir and Edom are the same.) It was from Sinai to Canaan. Deuteronomy xxxiii. 2, "And he said the LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir." Habakkuk iii. 5, "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise." Isaiah lxiv. 3, "When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence."
Fifthly, The deplorable circumstances of the people when this deliverance was wrought, is described. The high ways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through by-ways. The inhabitants of the villages ceased. They chose new gods; and
war was in the gates: while among forty thousand Israelites neither shield nor spear were seen.
Sixthly, The heart of Deborah was toward the Governors of Israel, who offered themselves willingly, and for this she blessed the LORD. She calls upon those who rode upon white asses who set in the elevated seats of judgment, to bear witness to the magnitude of divine goodness, in thus delivering Israel from the terrific power of the archers, who aimed to destroy them. "Rehearse," said she, "In the places of drawing water, the righteous acts of the LORD, even his righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel, then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates."
First, Israel was an adulterous generation, they chose new gods, and thus plunged into all the calamities consequent upon desolating war. Secondly, The mercy of their omnipotent Creator, was manifest in their deliverance. Thirdly, A knowledge of the goodness of God stimulates to songs of thanksgiving and praise. Fourthly, The power of the Almighty is rendered more conspicuous, by the imbecility of the instruments he employs, and it thus becomes obvious that praise is not attributable to the creature. Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name, O LORD, be all the glory. Lastly, Every arrangement of Deity manifests what he will ultimately accomplish for his own glory, and for the good of his people. O that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works of creation, of preservation, and of redemption.
JUDGES XVI. 28-31.
First, AMPSON was an eminent type of Christ in the circumstances attendant upon his birth, in the remarkable instances of his wonderful life, and more especially in his death. The death of Sampson was abundantly and most strikingly figurative of the