Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal,…
Then Joshua built an altar unto the Lord.... And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses .... And he read all the words of the law. There is always danger in the moment after victory. We remember how Hannibal lost, amid the enervating luxuries of Capua, the fruit of the battle of Cannae. The most seductive Capua to the people of God is spiritual pride, which seeks to take to itself the glory which belongs to God alone. Woe to those who sleep upon the laurels of spiritual success, or who are intoxicated with self complacency. "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). Joshua shows us by his example how the people of God should conduct themselves after a victory.
I. HE GIVES ALL THE GLORY TO GOD. He builds an altar to offer thereon a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Let us do the same, and render, as he did, all glory to God.
II. HE SUMMONED THE PEOPLE TO A YET STRICTER OBEDIENCE TO THE DIVINE LAW by placing it afresh before their eyes. He knows well that never are men more prone to forget the sacred obligation of obedience than in the hour of religious success. Without obedience sacrifice is but external and vain. The true sacrifice is that of the will. Let every new blessing, every fresh victory only bring our mind and heart into more complete subjection to the will of God!
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal,