Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal

Joshua 24:19 -

And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord. Calvin thinks that Joshua said this to rouse the sluggish heart of the people to some sense of their duty. But this is quite contrary to the fact, for the heart of the people, as we have seen ( Joshua 22:1-34 ), was not sluggish. As little can we accept the explanation of Michaelis, who paraphrases, "Ye will not be able, from merely human resolutions, to serve God." Joshua was stating nothing but a plain fact, which his own higher conception of the law had taught him, that the law was too "holy, just, and good" for it to be possible that Israel should keep it. He had forebodings of coming failure, when he looked on one side at the law with its stern morality and rigorous provisions, and the undisciplined, untamed people that he saw around him. True and faithful to the last, he set before them the law in all its majesty and fulness, the nature of its requirements, and the unsuspected dangers that lay in their weak and wayward hearts. No doubt he had a dim presentiment of the truth, to teach which, to St. Paul, required a miracle and three years' wrestling in Arabia, that by the deeds of the law "shall no flesh be justified in God's sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin" ( Romans 3:20 ). As yet the Spirit of God had barely begun to unveil the figure of the Deliverer who was to declare at once God's righteousness and His forgiveness. Yet none the less did Joshua do his duty, and strove to brace up the Israelites to theirs, not by disguising the nature of the undertaking to which they were pledging themselves, but by causing them to be penetrated with a sense of its awfulness and of the solemn responsibilities which it entailed. St. Augustine thinks that Joshua detected in the Israelites already the signs of that self righteousness which St. Paul ( Romans 10:3 ) blames, and that he wished to make them conscious of it. But this is hardly borne out by the narrative. He is a holy God. The pluralis excellentiae is used here in the case of the adjective as well as the substantive. This is to enhance the idea of the holiness which is an essential attribute of God. He is a Jealous God. The meaning is that God will not permit others to share the affections or rights which are His due alone. The word, which, as its root, "to be red," shows, was first applied to human affections, is yet transferred to God, since we can but approximate to His attributes by ideas derived from human relations. Not that God stoops to the meanness and unreasonableness of human jealousy. His vindication of His rights is no other than reasonable in Him. "His glory" He not only "will not," but cannot "give to another." And therefore, as a jealous man does, yet without his infirmity, God refuses to allow another to share in what is due to Himself alone. The word, as well as the existence of the Mosaic covenant, has no doubt led the prophets to use, as they do on innumerable occasions, the figure of a husband and wife ( Jeremiah 2:2 ; Ezekiel 23:25 : Hosea 2:2 , Hosea 2:13 , Hosea 2:16 (margin), 19, 20) in describing the relations of God to His Church, and approximate to His attitude towards His people by the illustration of an injured husband towards a faithless wife (see also Exodus 34:14 ; Deuteronomy 6:15 ). He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins (see Exodus 23:21 ). There were many words used for "forgive" in Scripture: נשׁא כפר and סלה (see Pearson's learned note in his 'Treatise on the Creed,' Art. 10). The one here used signifies to remove or to bear the burden of guilt, corresponding to the word αἴρω in the New Testament. The word here translated" transgressions" is not the same as in Joshua 7:15 , and the cognate word to the one rendered "transgressed" in Joshua 7:11 , is here rendered "sins." It signifies a "breach of covenant," while the word translated" sins" is the equivalent of the Greek ἀματία .

Be the first to react on this!

Scroll to Top

Group of Brands