J O S H U A
More than once we have found the affairs of
Israel, even when they were in the happiest posture and gave the
most hopeful prospects, perplexed and embarrassed by sin, and a
stop thereby put to the most promising proceedings. The golden
calf, the murmuring at Kadesh, and the iniquity of Peor, had broken
their measures and given them great disturbance; and in this
chapter we have such another instance of the interruption given to
the progress of their arms by sin. But it being only the sin of one
person or family, and soon expiated, the consequences were not so
mischievous as of those other sins; however it served to let them
know that they were still upon their good behaviour. We have here,
I. The sin of Achan in meddling with the accursed thing, ver. 1. II. The defeat of Israel
before Ai thereupon, ver.
2-5. III. Joshua's humiliation and prayer on occasion of
that sad disaster, ver.
6-9. IV. The directions God gave him for the putting
away of the guilt which had provoked God thus to contend with them,
ver. 10-15. V. The
discovery, trial, conviction, condemnation, and execution, of the
criminal, by which the anger of God was turned away, ver. 16-26. And by this story it
appears that, as the laws, so Canaan itself, "made nothing
perfect," the perfection both of holiness and peace to God's Israel
is to be expected in the heavenly Canaan only.