Joshua 5:1, 10-15
Matthew Henry says upon this verse, “How dreadful is their case who see the wrath of God and his deserved vengeance advancing towards them with steady pace, without any possibility of averting or escaping it. Such will be the horrible situation of the wicked when summoned to appear before the tribunal of an offended God; nor can words express the anguish of their feelings, or the greatness of their terror. O that they would now take warning, and before it be too late, would flee for refuge to lay hold upon that hope which is set before them in the salvation of the gospel.”
Before they entered upon the conquest of Canaan the people gave attention to circumcision and the passover. We cannot expect God to help us if we are negligent of his commands. Before entering upon any Christian enterprise it is well to look to home duties. When all is right within ourselves, we shall be in a fit condition to do battle with the evils around us.
We must not expect miracles when ordinary providences will suffice. There is, if we would but see it, as much wisdom and grace in supplying our daily wants in the common methods as there would be in the Lord’s raining bread from heaven upon us. We may here also remark that means and ordinances will last us until we reach the heritage above. We must gather the manna of the wilderness till we feast upon the harvests of Immanuel’s land. Grace will be our daily portion till we enter glory.
The Lord Jesus usually appears to his people in a manner which proves his communion with them. He shows himself to be like his brethren. To Abraham the pilgrim he appeared as a pilgrim, with Jacob the wrestler he wrestled, to the holy children he appeared as one in the furnace, and to Joshua the soldier he showed himself as a warrior. Our Lord is the defender of his chosen, and will show himself strong on their behalf:
Like a brave man Joshua spake, and like a resolute friend of Israel, who would know each mans mind about the coming fight, and act towards him accordingly.
Jesus is Commander-in-Chief; he is not only, as one was wont to call him, “our august ally,” but the Captain over all.
True adoration bows its heart to hear as well as its knee to worship.
He must first worship, and then go to war. God will not honour irreverent spirits. It is not enough to ask instructions from the Lord Jesus; we must adore him, and maintain a devout spirit. Great Captain of the sacred host, we adore thee at this hour! Give us thy commands, and go with us to the conflict, and we will not fear our adversaries, however great or many they be.
Thee we acknowledge, God and Lord,
Jesus for sinners slain;
Who art by heaven and earth adored,
Worthy o’er both to reign.
Great Captain of the hosts of God,
Low at thy feet we bow;
‘Tis holy ground where thou hast trod,
We loose our sandals how.