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The Israelites Defeated.

The Israelites Defeated.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. W. THISTLETHWAITE, M.A.,


NUMBEKS XIV. 41.

And Moses saidy Wherejbre norv do ye trans-
gress the commandment of the Lord? But
it sháll not prosper.
BY REV. W. THISTLETHWAITE, M.A.,


NUMBEKS XIV. 41.

And Moses saidy Wherejbre norv do ye trans-
gress the commandment of the Lord? But
it sháll not prosper.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 10, 2013
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THE ISRAELITES DEFEATED.BY REV. W. THISTLETHWAITE, M.A.,UMBEKS XIV. 41.And Moses saidy Wherejbre norv do ye trans-gress the commandment of the Lord? Butit sháll not prosper.Man is naturally a self-suflSciept and self-willed being ; what he wishes to do, he willdo; what is right in his own eyes, he willhave to be right, and even the authority of God, and much more the authority of man,is not sufficient to secure his obedience, whenhe chooses to think that any thing ought tobe otherwise : he wiU judge for himself, andact for himself, however he may therebytransgress the law, whether human or divine,questioning the justice or wisdom of the law,and presuming to think that he knows betterwhat ought to be enjoined, than the wisest of THE ISRAELITE8 DEFEATED. 433lawgivers or even the omniscient God him-self.We have a striking instance of tliis per-verseness and obstinacy of the human mindin the liistory which now comes before us.We have seen that the Israelites had dis-trusted the promise and disobeyed thecommand of God, by not going forwardto take possession of the land of Canaan.They had exercised their own judgmentupon the case, and because the inhabitantswere powerful in body, and their citiesstrongly defended, they concluded that theycould not possibly succeed in the attempt,passionately wished that they had dicd inthe wilderness, and proposed to return againinto Egypt. For this God had ordered
 
them to retum ; and had declared that, ex-cept his two faithful servants, Caleb andJoshua, they should all die in the wilder-ness; and the Lord had further shewn hisindignation by executing immediate judg-ment upon the other ten persons who hadgone to search the land. Hereupon theywere in great tribulation ; they made a loudVOL. III. u434 THE ISRAELITES DEFEATED.moiiTiuiig and lamentation. like Esan, íbeylifted up their voice and wept, butwith aslittle of trne lepentance and huTniliation intheir hearts, as he had. Thej changedtheir minds entirely; they would now dowhat €rod required, and he should reversehis sentence against them. Tbej would notdelaj a moment, they would go up imme^diately to attack the Canaanites. We read,that " The people moumed greatly^ and theyrose up early in the moming and gat themup into the top of the mountain, saying, JLowe be here/ and will go up unto the plaoewhich the Lord hath promised ; for we havesinned." ow their determinatíon had beena good one^ if indeed they had deeply felttheir sin^ and shewn a submissive spint, andprayed that the Lord would permit them togo up^ and be with them in their es^edition.But there was no such spirit of subimssion,and prayer, and waitíng upon God. Theywere in haste to settle the matter in their ownway^ thinking that they had nothing to dobut to act as they ought to have done at thefirst; and all would be well. But God wouldTHE ISRAELITES DEFEATED. 435not be thus dealt with. Moaes told them thatthej were again transgressiiig the command-
 
ment of the Lord ; he had commanded themto retnm^ and they had nothing to do bnt tosnbmit ; they must not refnse what was laidnpon Ihem, and thas again oppose the wiUof God. Besides he told them plainlj thatit wonld not prosper; no snccess conld behoped for^ if thej made the attempt; Godwas not now among them; the Amalekiteshad ahready taken an adYantageous post onthe hill ; and defeat and slanghter mostcertainlj awaited them, if they should goagainst them ; and he gave them the plainreason wh j snch wonld be the issue of theirattempt, " Because ye are tumed away fromthe Lord, therefore the Lord will not be withyou.** ow if they had been truly hum-bled, and really disposed to be obedient, theywould have submitted to their punishment;they would have retumed to the wildemess ;they would have sought a removal of thesentence, or a shortening of tbe time of theirwanderíng, by sihcere repentance and fer-vent prayer, and implicit obedience to allu 2436 THE ISRAELITES DEFEATED,Uiings enjoined them ; they would haye said," Good is the word which the Lord hathspoken;" we have sinned; we wiU go andbear the just punishment of our sin. Batthis was not their temper. They would pro-ceed in their own way : they presumed to goto the hilUtop^ even though Moses refused toaccompany them, or to allow the ark to becarried with them, and the consequence was,as might be expected, they were driven back with immense slaughter. ^^ The Amalekiteacame down, and the Canaanites which dweltin that hill^ and smote them, and discom-fited them even unto Hormah." The wholecircumstauce is emphatically repeated byMoses, forty years afterwards^ when theperiod of their punishment was fulflUed^

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