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Jericho is utterly destroyed. 14 And the second day they and they took the city. compassed the city once, and 21 And they utterly destroyed returned into the camp: so they all that was in the city, both man did six days.
and woman, young and old, and 15 And it came to pass on the ox, and sheep, and ass, with the seventh day, that they rose early edge of the sword. about the dawning of the day, 22 But Joshua had said unto and compassed the city after the the two men that had spied out same manner seven times: only the country, Go into the harlot's on that day they compassed the house, and bring out thence the city seven times.
woman, and all that she hath, as 16 And it came to pass at the ye sware unto her. seventh time, when the priests 23 And the young men that blew with the trumpets, Joshua were spies went in, and brought said unto the people, Shout; for out Rahab, and her father, and the Lord hath given you the city. her mother, and her brethren,and
17 And the city shall be ac- all that she had; and they brought cursed, even it, and all that are out all her kindred, and left them therein, to the Lord: only Ra- without the camp of Israel. hab the harlot shall live, she and 24 And they burnt the city all that are with her in the house, with fire, and all that was therein: because she hid the messengers only the silver, and the gold, and that we sent.
the vessels of brass and of iron, 18 And ye, in any wise keep they put into the treasury of the yourselves from the accursed house of the Lord. thing, lest ye make yourselves 25 And Joshua saved Rahab accursed, when ye take of the ac- the barlot alive, and her father's cursed thing, and make the camp houshold, and all that she had; of Israel a curse, and trouble it. and she dwelleth in Israel even
19 But all the silver, and gold, unto this day; because she hid and vessels of brass and iron, are the messengers, which Joshua consecrated unto the Lord: they sent to spy out Jericho. shall come into the treasury of 26 And "Joshua adjured them the Lord.
at that time, saying, Cursed be 20 So the people shouted when the man before the LORD, that the priests blew with the trum- riseth up and buildeth this city pets : and it came to pass, when Jericho: he shall lay the founthe people heard the sound of dation thereof in his firstborn, the trumpet, and the people and in his youngest son shall he shouted with a great shout, that set up the gates of it. the wall fell down flat, so that 27 So the LORD
was with the people went up into the city, Joshua ; and his fame was noised every man straight before him, throughout all the country.
Compassion for sinners. “ By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.” Heb. 11. 30. This is the application
of this history, as made in the New Testament. And we may do well to observe, that the faith of the Israelites was proved, not only by what they persevered in doing as commanded, but also by what they refrained from doing before the time appointed. It had been said, that the wall should fall down flat when all the people should shout on the seventh day. See ver. 5. And Joshua well knowing how much they would be tempted to put forth their voice too soon, had carefully forewarned them, “Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout.” Ver. 10. Accordingly they refrained, until the signal was given by command of Joshua. And therefore when the people shouted, “ the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” Let us learn that it is a part and province of faith to wait the Lord's time; to be not hasty or impatient, though diligent and active, in doing the Lord's work. However excellent may be the end we have in view, however great the good we have to compass, let us be as willing to wait, where God bids us wait, for success, as to speed for it, where God lets us succeed speedily.
We may imagine the dismay and horror of the men of Jericho, when their wall
fell down, and the invading army marched up into their city, without any barrier whatsoever to prevent it. We may pity their mournful end; and may weep for their wives and children, slain with the sword, and buried in the ruins of their desolated homes. We may pity, consistently with devout acknowledgment that God was not unrighteous in putting them to death. We may weep, for they were members of one family with ourselves. They felt what we should feel, if visited with the like affliction. And though we know that they deserved to suffer this, and worse, as sinners against the God that made them, this thought only adds to our own regret in their behalf, only makes us the more sorry for them that suffered. Compassion for the misery which sinners undergo, is naturally suggested, by our sense of what we still endure, by reason of sin, ourselves. It is sanctioned, nay forcibly recommended, by the affecting example of our Lord, weeping over the city which had rejected Him, dying for the people that nailed Him to the cross. And as long as we are in the flesh, we must cherish this tender pity for sinners, whilst we cultivate no less diligently a determined abhorrence of sin. But the judgments of God, in such a case as this of Jericho, the city wholly burnt, and no one of its inhabitants, except Rahab and her family, saved alive, these things, done at his express command, by his own chosen people, these judgments thus fulfilled, prepare us to expect, that hereafter, when our Saviour shall come again as Judge, we also shall be enabled, consistently with love made
perfect in our souls, to join in the triumph of the heavenly host over " the enemies of the cross of Christ." Phil. 3. 18. See Rev. 18. 20.
The Israelites are smitten at Ai, for Achan's Sin. 1 But the children of Israel hear of it, and shall environ us committed a trespass in the ac- round, and cut off our name from cursed thing: for Achan, the son the earth: and what wilt thou of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the do unto thy great name? son of Zerah, of the tribe of Ju- 10 And the LORD said unto dah, took of the accursed thing: Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore and the angerof the Lordwas kin- liest thou thus upon thy face? dled against the children of Israel. 11 Israel hath sinned, and they
2 And Joshua sent men from Je- have also transgressed my covericho to Ai, which is beside Beth- nant which I commanded them: aven, on the east side of Beth-el, for they have even taken of the and spake unto them, saying, Go accursed thing, and have also up and view the country. And stolen, and dissembled also, and the men went up and viewed Ai. they have put it even among
3 And they returned to Joshua, their own stuff. and said unto him, Let not all 12 Therefore the children of Isthe people go up; but let about rael could not stand before their two or three thousand men go up enemies, but turned their backs and smite Ai; and make not all before their enemies, because the people to labour thither; for they were accursed: neither will they are but few.
I be with you any more, except 4 So there went up thither of the ye destroy the accursed from people about three thousand men among you. and they fled before the men of Ai. 13 Up, sanctify the people, and
5 And the men of Ai smote of say, Sanctify yourselves against them about thirty and six men: to morrow : for thus saith the for they chased them from before Lord God of Israel, There is the gate even unto Shebarim, and an accursed thing in the midst smote them in the going down: of thee, O Israel: thou canst not wherefore the hearts of the people stand before thine enemies, until melted, and became as water. ye take away the accursed thing
6 And Joshua rent his clothes, from among you. and fell to the earth upon his face 14 In the morning therefore before the ark of the Lord until ye shall be brought according to the eventide, he and the elders your tribes : and it shall be, that of Israel, and put dust upon their the tribe which the Lord taketh heads.
shall come according to the fa7 And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord milies thereof; and the family God, wherefore hast thou at all which the LORD shall take shall brought this people over Jordan, come by housholds ; and the to deliver us into the hand of the houshold which the LORD shall Amorites, to destroy us? would take shall come man by man. to God we had been content, and 15 And it shall be, that he that dwelt on the other side Jordan ! is taken with the accursed thing
8 O Lord, what shall I say, shall be burnt with fire, he and when Israel turneth their backs all that he hath: because he hath before their enemies !
transgressed the covenant of the 9 For the Canaanites and all LORD, and because he hath the inhabitants of the land shall wrought folly in Israel.
LECTURE 373. That God often deals with us as members of a body. Three thousand men of Israel “fled before the men of Ai.” They fled, and lost six and thirty of their number; not for want of a larger army, but because of the sin of Achan, in taking for his own use a part of the devoted spoils of Jericho.
One man alone did wrong, and one family alone was privy to the wrong which he had done. Yet all these six and thirty fell in consequence; yea, according to God's reckoning, all Israel had sinned. For thus it is written:
“ The children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing." And again, “ Israel hath sinned.” Can any thing more plainly prove, that God treats us not as unconnected beings, who stand or fall simply by ourselves, but as members of one family, one nation, or one church, whose interests for good or evil are closely bound up with the good or evil conduct of each other? What a weighty reason is here presented to our minds, for watching, praying, labouring, and giving, in each other's behalf! What a powerful motive is here added, to the many others which urge us to do aright; our doing wrong may be the occasion of pain or loss, of sorrow, suffering, or death, nay even of sin and of eternal death, to those whom we most dearly love!
It is our selfishness, our too high value for our single selves, which makes us averse to acknowledge this our standing as mere members of a body, mere parts, and each a trifling part, of one great whole. It is our want of faith in God, that He does all things right, which renders us slow to admit the fact, of his often thus dealing with his creatures. Had this been well considered by the people, they would not have been dispirited so readily. Nor would Joshua, if well aware of this, have dared so rashly to complain to God, as if He had without cause deserted them.
Rather they would have supposed, that some sin had been committed, some breach of God's covenant, some disobedience to his will. They would have searched what sin it was, and who the sinner, and by what means they could be cleared of guilt. This was a thing, which in this case, God was pleased to do for them, by means miraculous. Christians, for their part, are instructed by St. Paul, to mark each member of their body who transgresses openly; and after full enquiry, and fair trial, to put away from themselves that wicked person. See 1 Cor. 5. 13. The exercise of such discipline is no doubt a very difficult duty for the church to discharge. But the prevalent neglect of it is a painful proof, that we do not sufficiently consider our own spiritual health and safety as connected with the well being of each other member of the church. And if God seem at times to hide his face from us, if our spiritual enemies, that should fly before our face, oftentimes prevail to our shame, who shall say whether this be not one chief cause of our losing the help of God, that we take so little pains to put away from our community the most notorious transgressors of his laws?
PART 11.-0. T.
Achan is convicted, and stoned, and burnt. 16 So Joshua rose up early in the midst of my tent, and the the morning, and brought Israel silver under it. by their tribes; and the tribe of 22 So Joshua sent messengers, Judah was taken:
and they ran unto the tent; and, 17 And he brought the family behold, it was hid in his tent, of Judah; and he took the family and the silver under it. of the Zarhites : and he brought 23 And they took them out of the family of the_Zarhites the midst of the tent, and brought man by man; and Zabdi was them unto Joshua, and unto all taken:
the children of Israel, and laid 18 And he brought his hous- them out before the LORD. hold man by man; and Achan, 24 And Joshua, and all Israel the son of Carmi, the son of with him, took Achan the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the Zerah, and the silver, and the tribe of Judah, was taken. garment, and the wedge of gold, 19 And Joshua said unto Achan, and his sons, and his daughters, My son, give, I pray thee, glory and his oxen, and his asses, and to the Lord God of Israel, and his sheep, and his tent, and all make confession unto him; and that he had : and they brought tell me now what thou hast done; them unto the valley of Achor. hide it not from me.
25 And Joshua said, Why hast 20 And Achan answered Jo- thou troubled us? the Lord shall shua, and said, Indeed I have sin- trouble thee this day. And all ned against the LORD God of Israel stoned him with stones, and Israel, and thus and thus have I burned them with fire, after they done :
had stoned them with stones. 21 When I saw among the spoils 26 And they raised over him a a goodly Babylonish garment, great heap of stones unto this day. and two hundred shekels of sil- So the LORD turned from the ver, and a wedge of gold of fifty fierceness of his anger. Whereshekels weight, then I coveted fore the name of that place was them, and took them; and, be- called, The valley of Achor, unto hold, they are hid in the earth in this day.
LECTURE 374. That God will bring to light our most secret actions. We are not told by what means God took or detected the guilty tribe, family, household, and individual. It might be by lot, a lot miraculously guided; see 1 Sam. 14. 41; or it might be by means of the Urim and Thummim; see Num. 27. 21; or it might be by some other means not mentioned here or elsewhere. It is enough for us to know, that God pointed out the guilty party. It is enough for us to be convinced, by this remarkable instance, that He knows the most secret acts we can perform, and that when He thinks fit, He knows how to bring them to light. And yet how many, who own all this, are easily prevailed upon by the tempter, to seize upon some forbidden pleasure, to take to their