Page images
PDF
EPUB

m the storehouses that the inhabitants had aban. doned in their flight, and also of the new corn yet standing in the fields. The manna, then, fell no more. Such a supply was now no longer necessary; and its sudden and entire disappearance fur. nished incontestible evidence that it had been miraculously given.

About this time, as Joshua was, one day, alone, at some distance from the camp, probably approaching near the city of Jericho, to observe, if possible, its situation and the best mode of attack ing it, a strange vision burst upon his sight. A human figure, with a drawn sword in his hand, stood in front of him. It would have intimidated a person of less intrepidity than Joshua. But he fearlessly approached the unknown individual, saying; "Art thou for us, or for our adversaries ?”

It was no earthly being. "As Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come,” was the reply; and Joshua recognizing in him a divine personage, fell on his face to the earth, worshiping him, and inquiring, "What saith

my

lord unto his servant ?He, then, directed Joshua to loose his shoe from off his foot, "for the place,” said he, "whereon thou standest is holy;" a command which was immediately obeyed, and the same with that which was given to Moses by the Angel in the burning bush. Indeed, we have every reason to believe that, as in that case, so in this, the Being thus manifesting himself was the Son of God, who, afterwards, appeared in our world, as Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind.

The unexpected vision, and the words which were soon after uttered, were doubtless intended to allay any apprehensions which might yet linger in the breast of Joshua, and to inspire him with renewed confidence in God, as to the result of the attack which he and his army were soon to make upon Jericho. "See,” said Jehovah,"I have given into thy hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor. And

ye

shall compass the city, all ye men of

war,
and
go

round about the city once: thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns : and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when

ye

hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout: and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up, every man straight before him.”

Another miracle was to enable the Israelites to overcome another obstacle. The Jordan had just been passed by a peculiar divine interposition, and the first powerful and strongly fortified city which opposed their progress, would soon be made accessible to the victors by the same Almighty hand. Its inhabitants had taken every precaution for their security. "It was straitly shut up,” enclosed by its

massy walls and bolted gates, " because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.” Joshua, as he viewed its fortifications, at a distance, might have regarded them, to say the least, as demanding the most skilful and longcontinued assault, to insure an entrance, and feared that even this would not be accomplished without a deadly loss on his side. But all such forebodings were now dissipated; and the vision departing, Joshua returned to the camp, to make immediate preparations for taking possession of Jericho.

If God does not, at the present day, interpose by his miraculous agency, to encourage under the pressure of appalling difficulties those who put their trust in him, yet he not unfrequently does this, and quite as effectually, by his providential arrangements. At any rate, where faith is in exercise and prayer unremitted, resolution and wisdom are imparted to remove these difficulties, or patience and fortitude to endure them, until a way of relief is opened.

The Captain of the host of the LordJesus the Guide and Protector of his people-goes before them to point out the way, and to strengthen them for all their conflicts with their spiritual

in some

enemies. Joshua imbibed fresh resolution from the assurances of such a leader, in view of the difficulties and dangers that were before him. We shall soon see that his faith and his courage were equal to the crisis.

And how is it, my young friend, with you trying emergency? When you are met with what appear to be insurmountable obstacles in the way of duty; when affliction weighs down your spirit to the earth; when resolution falters, and hope sickens; and dicouragement paralyzes; can you not see the great Captain of your salvation near you, and hear his gracious words, and rely on his promises, "exceeding great and precious,” and adapted to all the necessities of your case ?

All who trust in him, shall be conquerors, at last, and more than conquerors, over the world, the flesh, and the adversary of their souls. What a victory! What a triumph! How far, far beyond any of an earthly kind that Joshua achieved. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with

my

Father in his throne." If you have, indeed, trusted in this Saviour, go forward in his strength. Be faithful unto death, and he will give you a crown of life. But what if you have not trusted in this Saviour! Who, then, is your leader and protector? On whom can you rely if you do not rely on Jesus? Who, what, will sustain you amid the trials of life, the scenes of a death-bed, and the coming wrath of the Almighty!

CHAPTER VI.

Jericho taken, and its inhabitants and the city destroyed,

but Rahab spared with her kindred. Reflections on this

event.

The command of God with regard to the destruction of Jericho was immediately carried into execution. Joshua called the priests, and gave them directions how to proceed. He issued orders, also, to the armed men, of whom there were six hundred thousand, to be in readiness, and to a certain number of the people to join the procession. For it is not at all probable that the whole host of the Israelites, amounting to between two and three millions, and including women and children, were engaged in the undertaking; especially as they had, on the seventh day, to make seven circuits round the city. In. junctions were given to preserve entire silence,

« PreviousContinue »