Sketches of Sermons
And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them…
I. GOD HAS AN INDISPUTABLE RIGHT TO DISPENSE HIS FAVOURS TO WHAT PERSONS AND IN WHAT PROPORTIONS HE PLEASES. As the sole proprietor, it is His to dispose of.
1. Worldly goods. One is accordingly born to affluence, while another is cradled in poverty. Before they existed they could, of course, have no claims or demerits; and therefore the difference in their tot must be owing to His sovereign disposal of events.
2. Bodily constitution and health. As variety marks all other of God's works, so here it happens that one is naturally robust, another sickly, a third deformed, &c. Who is it that maketh the strong, the beautiful, &c., to differ? The answer may be found in 2 Samuel 22:30, 35.
3. Mental qualifications. "The inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding." Much, it is true, depends on personal application. But much depends on natural capacity; given "to one five talents, to another two, and to another one"; and much on the opportunities, instructors, &c., which God either gives or withholds.
4. Spiritual privileges. Mankind soon began to have greater or smaller advantages in this respect, as they descended from families more or less holy; and the case is the same to the present day. Instance the Israelites and heathens formerly; Christians and pagans now.
II. GOD HAS AN EQUAL RIGHT TO RESUME OR TO TRANSFER HIS FAVOURS.
1. We have seen that whatever we possess is of free favour at first, from the original proprietor of all. Such the acknowledgment of the psalmist, "Of Thine own have I given Thee."
2. No person becomes a proprietor of his possessions merely because he has long enjoyed them. Every blessing is a loan resumable at pleasure; and instead of gaining a right by holding it, the holder is becoming more and more indebted. The property is still God's (Psalm 24:1, 10., 12).
3. On this ground He took His own land of promise from the Canaanites and transferred it to Israel. And He still puts down one and raises up another as it pleases Him.
III. GOD MAY JUSTLY PUNISH EVERY VOLUNTARY TRANSGRESSION OF HIS RIGHTEOUS AND EQUITABLE LAWS. Here we remark —
1. That His intelligent and moral creatures are what they are is owing to His sovereign pleasure. Thus Elihu (Job 35:10, 11).
2. Since they are such, and capable of moral government, their nature requires a law, as a test of their obedience and for the exercise of their capabilities; and it is His prerogative, who is not only the sovereign Lord, but infinitely wise, to say what is right, to enact such law.
3. In order to make the law efficient it was necessary it should be guarded and enforced by penal sanctions. Whence it follows —
4. That truth requires, while sovereignty authorises, the just punishment of disobedience to His righteous and equitable commands.
IV. IN EXECUTING HIS RIGHTEOUS PURPOSES GOD MAY EMPLOY WHAT AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY HE PLEASES. He doubtless can and may work immediately on any and every part of His creation. Yet He seldom does so. Oftentimes He employs angels, as in the case of Sennacherib or Herod. And oftentimes storm, pestilence, earthquake, &c. Deists do not object to these. Yet they cavil at God's employing the sword of Israel; a difference merely in the circumstance of instrumentality. Let the subject teach us —
1. Reverence. "Forasmuch as there is none like unto Thee, O Lord," &c. (Jeremiah 10:6, 7). The opposite disposition is reproved (Romans 9:20), and threatened (Isaiah 45:9, 10).
2. Dependence. We enjoy no more or longer than He blesses us, and live no longer than He sustains (Psalm 90:3, 14; Psalm 104:27-29).
3. Humility. "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom," &c. (Jeremiah 9:23, 24; 1 Corinthians 4:7).
4. Gratitude. Who maketh thee to differ?
(Sketches of Sermons.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho.
WEB: Joshua took Makkedah on that day, and struck it with the edge of the sword, with its king. He utterly destroyed them and all the souls who were in it. He left none remaining. He did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho.