And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them.…
This work of the house of Joseph which they went about, namely, to take this city Bethel, as God had injoined them, doth lively set before our eyes the duty of all God's people, that is to say, readily to go about and set upon the work that God hath appointed them, yea, and this is to be done, whatsoever discouragements may stand up in the way to hinder them. For hath not He commanded them? And is not He able to remove those impediments, rather than they shall hinder His work in the hands of His servants? For otherwise, if we look not to God by faith, but what let is in the way, and be hindered thereby, we shall cast the commandment of God behind our back, and do as they who observe the wind, and therefore sow not; and look too much to the clouds, and therefore reap not; and so for fear of inconveniences we shall let pass necessary duties. Again, when we thrive and have good success, we bless God, and are merry; but if we be crossed, we curse ourselves with impatience. Whereas it ought to be enough to us, that God hath brought it to pass either thus, or otherwise. And beside the authority He hath over us, His bountiful rewarding of us in His service, ought to encourage us to address ourselves to all such work; and not only so, but further, seeing He commandeth and would have us do it, as it may be most for our own ease, that is, willingly, readily, cheerfully; for the Lord loveth that, in all His service, as He loveth a cheerful giver. And we know (for our own parts) that men go untowardly about that work which they take in hand unwillingly. But I would that even they who are so, did go about that which they do by God's commandment cheerfully, and with delight for the Lord's sake; then should there many excrements be cut off from the infinite actions which are done in our lives, and with so much sin removed; many plagues and annoyances should be avoided from men's lives also.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them.