Joshua 8* God encourages Joshua. (1,2) The taking of Ai. (3-22) Thedestruction of Ai and its king. (23-29) The law read on Ebal andGerizim. (30-35)1,2 When we have faithfully put away sin, that accursed thingwhich separates between us and God, then, and not till then, wemay look to hear from God to our comfort; and God's directing ushow to go on in our Christian work and warfare, is a goodevidence of his being reconciled to us. God encouraged Joshua toproceed. At Ai the spoil was not to be destroyed as at Jericho,therefore there was no danger of the people's committing such atrespass. Achan, who caught at forbidden spoil, lost that, andlife, and all; but the rest of the people, who kept themselvesfrom the accursed thing, were quickly rewarded for theirobedience. The way to have the comfort of what God allows us,is, to keep from what he forbids us. No man shall lose byself-denial. 3-22 Observe Joshua's conduct and prudence. Those that wouldmaintain their spiritual conflicts must not love their ease.Probably he went into the valley alone, to pray to God for ablessing, and he did not seek in vain. He never drew back tillthe work was done. Those that have stretched out their handsagainst their spiritual enemies, must never draw them back. 23-29 God, the righteous Judge, had sentenced the Canaanitesfor their wickedness; the Israelites only executed his doom.None of their conduct can be drawn into an example for others.Especial reason no doubt there was for this severity to the kingof Ai; it is likely he had been notoriously wicked and vile, anda blasphemer of the God of Israel. 30-35 As soon as Joshua got to the mountains Ebal and Gerizim,without delay, and without caring for the unsettled state ofIsrael, or their enemies, he confirmed the covenant of the Lordwith his people, as appointed, #De 11; 27|. We must not think todefer covenanting with God till we are settled in the world; normust any business put us from minding and pursuing the one thingneedful. The way to prosper is to begin with God, #Mt 6:33|.They built an altar, and offered sacrifice to God, in token oftheir dedicating themselves to God, as living sacrifices to hishonour, in and by a Mediator. By Christ's sacrifice of himselffor us, we have peace with God. It is a great mercy to anypeople to have the law of God in writing, and it is fit that thewritten law should be in a known tongue, that it may be seen andread of all men.
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