Joshua 11:20
For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts to engage Israel in battle, that they would be completely destroyed without mercy and be annihilated as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Doomed to DestructionJ. Waite Joshua 11:20
Hearts Hardened by GodW.F. Adeney Joshua 11:20
The Extermination of the CanaanitesE. De Pressense Joshua 11:20
Divine Directions for the FightA. B. Mackay.Joshua 11:1-23
Sharing the SpoilW. Seaton.Joshua 11:1-23
Take Heed How Ye HearF. G. Marchant.Joshua 11:1-23
Types of Christian WarfareJ. Parker, D. D.Joshua 11:1-23

I. WHEN GOD HARDENS A MAN'S HEART IT IS BECAUSE HIS CHARACTER IS SUCH AS TO TURN GOD'S RIGHTEOUS ACTION TO THIS RESULT. The same act of Providence which hardens one heart softens another. Prosperity will harden one in selfish, worldly satisfaction, and soften another to grateful devotion and active benevolence. Adversity will harden one in discontent and unbelief, while it softens another to penitence and trust. The experience of life will deaden the spiritual insights of one, and quicken that of another. The effects of God's work with us is thus largely determined by the condition of our own minds. God never hardens a man's heart except through his own abuse of providential actions and spiritual influences which are kindly and wholesome in themselves, and prove themselves so to these who receive them aright (Matthew 13:11-15).

II. GOD HARDENS I MAN'S HEART NOT BEFORE, BUT AFTER, HE HAS SINNED. The Canaanites had hardened their hearts in sin before God hardened them for judgment. God never predisposes a man to sin, nor does He harden a man in sin against any desire for amendment. The Divine hardening of the heart is not a cause of sin but a fruit of it.

III. GOD DOES NOT HARDEN A MAN'S HEART SO MUCH BY MAKING THE WILL STUBBORN AS BY BLINDING THE EYES TO PRESENT DANGER AND FUTURE CALAMITY. The Canaanites were not made more wicked, they were only rendered blind to their danger and doom, so that they resisted where resistance was hopeless, and attempted to make no terms with the invader. When a man will not repent in obedience to conscience, it may be best that lie should not find a means of escaping punishment through the exercise of prudence. So long as conscience is blind it is better for all moral purposes that prudence also should be blind. Note, however, as a warning, while sin tends to blind us to its approaching punishment, we are not the less in danger because we feel a sense of security.

IV. WHEN THE CONSCIENCE IS DEAD TO GOD'S LAW IT MAY BE WELL THAT THE INTELLECT SHOULD BE BLIND TO HIS TRUTH. It is better not to receive the truth into the intellect than to hold it with a disobedient heart. Otherwise

(1) we shall misunderstand, abuse, and misapply it;

(2) we shall deceive ourselves by supposing we are the better for knowing what is good although we do not practise it; and

(3) we shall be less susceptible to the influence of truth when it comes at the right moment to reveal our guilt and direct the way to redemption. Christ expressly said that He spoke in parables that they who were in a wrong condition of heart to benefit by His teaching might not receive it to their hurt and its dishonour (Matthew 13:13). - W.F.A.

He left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.
"This year omissions have distressed me more than anything." So speaks Andrew A. Bonar, concluding one of the years of his life. How many of us are similarly distressed!

I. THE THINGS UNDONE ARE MANY. We have not left undone a duty here or there merely, but we have the painful consciousness of having missed so much that more seems undone than done. Darwin's biographer relates that the great scientist "never wasted a few spare minutes from thinking that it was not worth while to set to work." His golden rule was "taking care of the minutes." And so he became rich and accurate in knowledge. How much more might we have done in the home! We deal negligently with those about us until change or death takes them away I How much more might we have done in the world! We have loitered in the sheepfold to hear the bleating of the sheep, when we ought to have been in the high places of the field. How much more might we have given and taught and toiled in the Church of God! We are always evading manifest obligations, which are also precious privileges. With what fiery energy the bird, the bee, the butterfly, carry out the special commission with which they are entrusted! In nature everything seems to be done that can be done with the granted measure of time, space, material, and energy. But we are conscious of a very different and far less satisfactory state of things in the human sphere. Here inertia, laziness, slipperiness, procrastination, prevail. There are great gaps in our work.

II. THE THINGS UNDONE ARE OFTEN THE THINGS OF THE GREATEST CONSEQUENCE. Emerson speaks of "the science of omitting." A very necessary and much-neglected science. "The artist," says Schiller, "may be known rather by what he omits." The master of literary style is best recognised by his tact of omission. The orator declares his genius as much by what he leaves out as by what he puts into his discourses. And in life the science of omission must have a large place. Life on its moral side, in its highest sense, becomes complete and successful by exclusion: if we are to make anything of it, we must reject much. When, however, an artist understands the science of omission, he leaves out the trivial, the vulgar, the irrelevant. Pater, speaking of Watteau, the French artist, says, "Sketching the scene to the life, but with a kind of grace, a marvellous tact of omission in dealing with the vulgar reality seen from one's own window." Yes, leaving out the vulgar features and commonplace detail. But the defect in our moral life is that in our science of omission we too often leave out the primary, the highest, the essential. The trivial, the fugitive, the inferior, the accidental, are given a place in our life, whilst the large, the noble, the precious, and the supreme are excluded. It is thus with us in questions of character. The weightier matters are more difficult, and we evade them. It is thus with matters of duty. We shirk the calls demanding courage, diligence, sacrifice, and content ourselves by doing abundantly the things which are more immediately connected with our pride, our interest, or our pleasure. Here we are often condemned. Great principles are left out of our character, because they are difficult to acquire and maintain; great duties are ignored, because they mean heroism and suffering; great opportunities are forfeited, because they demand promptitude and resolution; great works are declined, because they involve consecration and sacrifice.

III. THE THINGS UNDONE ARE THINGS FOR WHICH WE MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE. We are often deeply concerned, as, indeed, we ought to be, with the things we have done amiss; but we are less troubled by the things left undone. Yet the negative side is as really sin as is the positive side. In these modern days it is rather fashionable for men of a certain type to stand quite aside from an active career. They are deeply impressed by the seriousness of life, by its difficulties, its mysteries; they decline, as far as may be, its relationships, its obligations, its trials, its honours, its sorrows. They will tell you that they have no gifts, no calling, no opportunity. But, however disguised, these lives are slothful and guilty. But most of us have somewhat of this slothful temper. True, we gloss with mild names this skirking of duty. We call it expediency, standing over, modesty, deliberation, forgetfulness, oversight; but it ought to be called sloth, hypocrisy, cowardice, sin. How much undone for God, for man, for our own perfecting! And as for the future, let us put into life more purpose, passion, and will. Let us be more definite, prompt, unflinching. Let us be at once more enthusiastic and more methodical.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

It was of
We must not suppose, of course, that God stepped in to produce, in the case of these Canaanites, a result which would not have accrued to them by the working out of the natural laws which He had instituted. God loved them as He loves the world. They were included in the propitiation of Christ. They might have been saved, as Rahab was. And when it is said that God hardened their hearts, we must understand that their hearts became hardened by sinning against their light, in accordance with that great principle which God has established, that if a man resists his convictions of right he becomes more inveterate in his sinful ways. God is thus said to do what is done by the working out of the laws of that moral universe which He has constituted. It is clear that the Canaanites knew that God was with Israel. Rahab said (Joshua 2:10, 11). And the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:10). There is no doubt, then, that throughout the land there had gone forth the fame of God; and when the kings flung their hosts in battle against Israel it was as it has always been (Psalm 2:2).

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

I remember one day, in our natural history class, the professor explained to us how sponges became flints. He had all his specimens arranged along his table. He took the soft sponge, elastic and flaccid, that could bend any way — beautifully soft and fine. Then he took the next one; it was not so flexible: and he went on, each one only a little more flinty than the former, till he had the flint. That had been a sponge; though now its heart was so hard that you could strike fire from it with a steel. The sponge will become flint. There are little silicious particles that gather in the soft sponge; and by and by the silex is deposited in the interstices of the sponge; and on it goes till the silica has the victory, and the sponge becomes flint. A wonderful sermon from science. I have had companions like that — young men with hearts, oh, so soft I at their first revival. Impressions went home to them; they had tears and anxiety; yet, as years have passed, the hardness of heart has increased, as with one whom I met recently, who, since then, has bolted to America with a heart of flint instead of a soft heart. As the days went by, hardness increased; the silicious particles of rejection of Christ multiplied in number, till the man became a reprobate. Perhaps you are in that position. As I am preaching from the presence of God it has no effect. You are hearing it, but it is going in at the one ear and out at the other. See to it that the judicial hardening of your heart does not overtake you, and you learn by experience the despair of a lost soul.

(J. Robertson.)

So Joshua took the whole land.

II. THEIR MOST SIGNAL VICTORIES ARE EVER INCOMPLETE. The whole land, yet not the whole (Joshua 8:1).


1. According to all that the Lord said unto Moses." This clause serves also to limit and explain the former. God had specially told Moses that the whole land should not be conquered too suddenly (Exodus 23:29, 30).

IV. THE INHERITANCE THUS GIVEN BY GOD SHOULD BE THE INHERITANCE OF ALL GOD'S PEOPLE. "Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes."


1. Rest after severe strife.

2. Rest only through faith and obedience.

3. Rest, but rest which still requires that they watch and pray.

4. Rest, which though but an imperfect pattern, should stand for a sure prophecy of the rest which is perfect, If we really enter into the rest of faith, it will be by that holy Spirit of promise, "which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession."

(F. G. Marchant.)

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