So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his army with the sword.
1. THE ATTACK BY AMALEK. It was cowardly, malicious, merciless (cf. Deuteronomy 25:17; 1 Samuel 15:2); not open, straightforward enmity; cutting off the feeble and the stragglers; a vulture-like hostility; a type and sample of diabolical hatred. Notice the parallel between Israel's position with regard to Amalek and our position with regard to Satan and his emissaries.
1. Israel was. passing through the wilderness. So God's people are passing through this world (Hebrews 11:14). The country through which the route lies is not claimed by those who use it.
2. Amalek considered the wilderness as their own. So Satan claims to be the prince of this world. In either case the authority is usurped.
3. Amalek took Israel at a disadvantage. No cause of enmity assigned, only apparently the right assumed for the stronger to prey upon the weaker. Satan, too, always endeavours to take us at a disadvantage. He did not attack Christ until "he was an hungered;" he attacks us, also, when we are weakest.
II. THE DEFENCE AND CONFLICT. -
1. A chosen captain. Joshua - "Jehovah is hell)." Perhaps name changed from Hoshea at this time; shows, at any rate, whence the leader derived his ability to lead. Our captain, "manifested to destroy the works of the devil." Had it not been for Satan's enmity, how should we have known the power of Christ?
2. Selected soldiers. Not all the people, but chosen from the people. All share the danger, but the defence may best be undertaken by a few, though, no doubt, these few are supported and encouraged by the general sympathy. In the war with Satan the brunt of the battle must fall on the selected soldiers - Christ chose apostles, and in every age the majority has been protected by representative champions. Satan must make more headway than he does, were it not that the weaker and more ignorant are sheltered from direct attack behind the bulwarks raised by the stronger and the wiser.
3. An uplifted banner. Usually the colours go before the army; here the banner - God's rod - is upheld upon the mountain -
(1) in full sight of all;
(2) in a position of comparative security. Notice -
1. This banner was a sign of God's helpful presence.
2. It was in full view of the fighters, and the fortune of the battle varied according as it was raised or lowered. Two things were necessary to ensure victory
(1) that the banner should be held up;
(2) that the fighters should keep looking at it. In the fight with Satan the same principle applies. God's law, God's righteous purpose, must be upheld by the Prophet, supported on one hand by the priest, on the other by the noble; but, further, the fighters must keep it well in view, nothing less than the assurance of its fixedness can nerve them so as to ensure victory.
III. THE MEMORIAL.
1. A book. This victory a pledge of Amalek's final exter- ruination.
2. An altar. "Jehovah our Banner," sign of a continuous war to be ended only with the fulfilment of God's purpose. In the fight with Satan our Lord's victory in the wilderness and on the cross, a pledge of final victory for all.
1. It is written in a book. Who has not read of it?
2. It is commemorated by a memorial, which all may see. "This do as a memorial of me." So long as there is evil in the world, so long there must be war. God's soldiers must fight from generation to generation until the final victory be achieved. What is the secret of their strength? The banner uplifted upon the mountain. The rod of God. "It is written." The prophet uprears it. Priest and noble, in so far as they fulfil their office, unite to support the prophet. The fighters h,ok up to the banner, and, encouraged by its steadfast maintenance, fight on till victory be secured. - G.
I. THE CHRISTIAN'S EXAMPLE.
Joshua discomfited Amalek.I. Amalek, as we learn from Deuteronomy 25:18, had "SMITTEN THE HINDMOST, EVEN ALL THAT WERE FEEBLE." The stragglers are always a temptation to the foe. The hindmost and the feeble are sure to be the first attacked, and therefore should have special care.
II. Joshua discomfited AMALEK, not Moses or some other friend. Let us keep our bitterness for sin, and our swords for the King's enemies.
III. AMALEK IS NOT TO BE BEATEN WITHOUT A FIGHT. The struggle against sin is real, as we shall find to our cost if we are not wary.
IV. MOSES WAS FOR EACH MINDING HIS OWN WORK. Joshua to fight, and himself to take the top of the hill.
V. Moses on the hill is AN EMBLEM OF PUBLIC PRAYER. There is a mystery about prayer that we cannot unravel, fine of the bravest of Christian soldiers, scarred with many a fight, said, "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands."
VI. HOW MUCH EVEN THE MIGHTIEST OF MEN ARE DEPENDENT UPON OTHERS MUCH WEAKER THAN THEMSELVES. It was well for the fortunes of the day that Moses was not alone.
VII. AN ALTAR MARKED THE PLACE OF BATTLE, AND GLORY WAS GIVEN TO THE LORD OF HOSTS. The soldiers of the Cross should call the battle-fields where they have won their bravest fights by the name of Him to whom they ascribe .all might and majesty.
Homilist.I. AS THE RECORD OF A WAR DISTINGUISHED FROM MOST MODERN WARS.
1. It was purely defensive on the Hebrew side.
2. It was Divinely sanctioned on the Hebrew side.
3. It was evidently judicial on the Hebrew side.
II. AS THE RECORD OF A WAR SUGGESTING PRINCIPLES OF GENERAL APPLICATION.
1. The propagating influence of evil. I find the primal cause of this war in the injury which Jacob perpetrated upon his brother Esau (Genesis 27:18, 19). God only knows the influence of one evil act.
2. The Divine liberty allowed to wicked men. Full freedom to work out revengeful passions.
3. The variety of instrumentality by which God works out His designs. The Eternal ever works by means.
4. The dependence of man's progress on his relation to heaven.
5. The importance of transmitting to posterity the agency of God in history (see ver. 14).
III. AS THE RECORD OF A WAR SYMBOLIZING THE MORAL STRUGGLE IN WHICH THE GOOD ARE ENGAGED.
1. That the good have spiritual enemies to contend with.
2. That the victory which the good are to obtain over their enemies depends on the help of others.
3. That whatever may be the amount of help obtained in the struggle, the victory must ever be ascribed to God.
1. To fight.
(1) (2) (3) (4) 2. To pray. (1) (2) (3) (4) II. THE CHRISTIAN'S ENCOURAGEMENT. 1. Christ, our Captain — (1) (2) (3) 2. Christ, our intercessor. (1) (2) (3) III. THE CHRISTIAN'S PROSPECT. 1. Of certain victory. 2. certain glory. (B. D. Macmillan.)
(2) (3) (4) 2. To pray. (1) (2) (3) (4) II. THE CHRISTIAN'S ENCOURAGEMENT. 1. Christ, our Captain — (1) (2) (3) 2. Christ, our intercessor. (1) (2) (3) III. THE CHRISTIAN'S PROSPECT. 1. Of certain victory. 2. certain glory. (B. D. Macmillan.)
(3) (4) 2. To pray. (1) (2) (3) (4) II. THE CHRISTIAN'S ENCOURAGEMENT. 1. Christ, our Captain — (1) (2) (3) 2. Christ, our intercessor. (1) (2) (3) III. THE CHRISTIAN'S PROSPECT. 1. Of certain victory. 2. certain glory. (B. D. Macmillan.)
2. To pray. II. THE CHRISTIAN'S ENCOURAGEMENT. 1. Christ, our Captain — 2. Christ, our intercessor. III. THE CHRISTIAN'S PROSPECT. 1. Of certain victory. 2. certain glory. (B. D. Macmillan.)
2. To pray.
II. THE CHRISTIAN'S ENCOURAGEMENT.
1. Christ, our Captain —
2. Christ, our intercessor.
III. THE CHRISTIAN'S PROSPECT.
1. Of certain victory.
2. certain glory.
(B. D. Macmillan.)
II. THE BATTLE WAS HOTLY CONTESTED.
III. THE VANQUISHED OWED DEFEAT, AND THE VICTORS VICTORY, TO DIVINE POWER THROUGH HUMAN INTERCESSION.Lessons:
1. As soon as we become followers of Christ, war is forced upon us.
2. Every Christian possesses a Divine rod which, wielded, will bring him Divine help (Hebrews 4:16).
3. Christians in their conflict have an Intercessor on the hill, and a Leader in the valley. Christ makes intercession (Hebrews 7:25); and the Holy Spirit helps our infirmities (Romans 8:26), and guides into all truth (John 16:13).
(W. Harris.)1. Hands of creature-instruments may be helpful under God, to give His Church success against its enemies.
2. Such hands lifted up to heaven in prayer, and for encouragement, God doth assist unto prevalency.
3. Hands hanging down and feeble in prayer, may give opportunity unto enemies to prevail.
4. Such languishings after strong strugglings, God sometimes orders upon His choicest servants.
5. Doubtful may be the fight of Israel as to success against its enemies for a time (ver. 11).
6. Heaviness of flesh and spirit in contending with God for Israel may sometimes befall Moses (Matthew 26:41, 43).
7. Suitable support under such delinquencies are very requisite for God's servants. Christ the stone to us.
8. Good helpers to strengthen hearts and hands in faintings are specially useful.
9. By such helps souls may be stedfast and faithful unto God unto time of victory (ver. 12).
10. Moses praying and Joshua fighting, Amalek must fail, when prayer puts the edge on the sword it is furbished to the slaughter.
11. It is God's just ordering that they who first oppress with the sword, shall perish by the sword (ver. 13).
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
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