« AnteriorContinuar »
should be discouraged by the difficulty of the conquest, so many enemies being in the way, he animates them against the greatest discouragement. 1. If they objected the number of their enemies, and their Strength; he answers that objection, ver. 17, 18. He had destroyed greater enemies than these for them; and he that had done the greater, would easily do the less ; he that began the work would finish it. 2. If they objected the weakness of their own strength and forces, he answers that objection, ver, 20, 21. Their greatest encouragement was, that they had God among them, a mighty God, and terrible; and if God be with us, if God be for us, we need not fear the
any creature against us. 3. If they objected the low progress of their arms, and feared that the Canaanites would never be subdued, if they were not expelled at the first; to this it is answered, in the words of our text, The Lord thy God will put out these nations by little and little. Where you may observe two things, (1.) Ifrael's enemies described ; they are called nations, because of their multitude and power. (2.) Israel's conquest; The Lord thy God will put them out before thee by little and little. Where you may observe both the glorious conqueror, and the manner of the conquest.
ift, The conqueror is God, described by his sovereignty over them, the Lord; and by his propriety in them, thy God. He it is that fights their battles.
2dly, The manner of the conquest: He will do it, 1. Effectually ; He will put them out. . markably; He will put them out before thee. 3. Gradually, which is the special thing here noticed in the manner of the conquest, namely, by little and little.
The same you read, Exod. xxiii. 29, 30. The wil dom of God is to be remarked in the gradual.conquest of his peoples enemies; and it is in real kindness to the church, that her enemies are subdued by little and little.
Now, Ifrael being typical of the church ; and the land of Canaan typical of heaven; and Israel's conquest over the nations, their enemies, typical of the fpiritual conquest of the Lord's people over their fpiritual enemies; and the manner of God's dealing with them for the most part typical of the way of God's dealing with his people in all ages:
Therefore I would deliver to you the gospel of this text, and open it in this one doctrinal observation :
That as the true Israel of God have nations of enemies in their way to the polleffon of the heavenly Canaan; so the Lord their God will conquer these nations by little and little.
I shall endeavour to open and confirm this doctrine in the following method. 1. Inquire who are the true Israel of God. 2. Speak a little of the heavenly Canaan, which they will be brought to the possession of. 3. Inquire what nations of enemies they have in their way. And, 4. Speak a little of the conqueror, the Lord their God.
." 5. The manner of the conquest, his putting them out before them by little and little. 6. The reason of this gradual conquest
. 7. Make application. And in all these I fall endeavour as much brevity as possible. Mean time, look to the Lord, that he would give some word with power, and with a blessing,
FIRST HEAD. The firs2 thing, Who are the true Israel of God, to whom this promise is made in the mystical and
spiritual sense of it; They are not all Israel that are
1. The true Israel of God, whom he will bring to the heavenly Canaan, are a people whom he hath set apart for himself
, and separated from the rest of the world, as Israel was. The true Israel are fet, apart, not only by election from eternity, but by effectual calling in time. ' As, in the first creation, God separated the light from the darkness, and made the one day, and the other night; so, in effectual calling, he separates the elect from others, as light from darkness : He leaves the rest of the world buried in their own'obscurity, and makes the others children of light. By effectual calling they get convincing grace, others are left stupid and feared; they get enlightening grace, and others are left in the dark'; they get renewing grace, and others are left in their enmity; they get persuading and enabling grace to believe, others are left in their unbelief, and remain children of disobedience and unpersuadableness: This people have I formed for myself, &c. Hence,
2. The true Israel of God are a people whom he hath brought out of Egypt in a spiritual sense, as Itrael was in a temporal; and that with a high hand, and outstretched arm. He hath brought them out of the Egypt of a natural state, and out of the house of bondage ; from their natural bondage to fin and Satan, their bondage to the law as a covenant of works, putting them to the hard talk and intolerable labour of doing for life; a task much worse than the Egyptian bondage, of making bricks without straw: He has brought them, I say, out of the house of bondage with a high hand; no power in the world being able to loose their bonds, if the power of a God had not been put forth for that
end. They are a people redeemed, not only by the price of the mediator's blood, but also by the power of his fpirit: by his power he hath begun to plague their enemies, and to drown them in the red-sea of his blood; for they overcame by the blood of the Lamb. 3.
The true Ifrael of God are a people acquainted with travelling in the wilderness, from Sinai to Zion, as Ifrael was ; I mean, from the law to the gospel, from the covenant of works to the covenant of grace. As Ifrael at Sinai was amazed at the fight of God appearing in his terrible majesty, and afterwards were brought into covenant with him ; the true Israel of God are a people that have been humbled with the views of God's holiness and infinite justice in the command and threatning of the law, and been made to flee for refuge to the hope set before them in the gospel covenant; they have come from Sinai to Zion, to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant and to the blood of sprinkling.
4. The true Israel of God are a people acquainted with the conduct of the pillar of cloud and of fire, as Israel was; I mean, they have gotten the spirit of Christ to be their guide in the way to Canaan : If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his ; and if any man have the spirit of Christ, he is guided thereby, and led into all truth, and out of all the paths of damnable error. There is a leading of the fpirit by a secret invisible hand, and by the means of the word, that all the Israel of God are partakers of even a voice behind them, saying, this is the way, and that is not the way; and all his sheep know his voice.
5. The true Israel of God are a people fed with Manna from heaven in a spiritual sense, as lfrael
was in another sense : They are a people that eat the bidden manna; they have bread to eat, the world knows not of, even the bread of life that came down from heaven: They live by faith in the Son of God; Christ is the Alpha and Omega of their life, the food and medicine of their life, the restorer and preserver of their life; they cannot live without him. The worldling lives upon his riches, the carnal man lives upon his lusts, hypocrites live upon
their profession, legalists live
their duties; but the true Israel of God live in the way of duty, upon Christ himfelf, as their wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. If I have any wisdom, Christ is my wisdom; if any righteousness, Christ is
my righteousness; If any holiness, Christ is my fanctification: Christ is my ALL, my life, my strength, my treasure, &c.
6. The true Israel of God are people acquainted with wrestling with God for the blessing, as Jacob was, who thereupon obtained the name of Israel; and all believers are thereupon called the seed of Jacob that shall not seek bis face in vain. They are a people whose life of faith is acted much upon their knees, or in a way of praying in the name of Christ, and in the spirit of Christ ; Praying in the Holy Ghost ; This is the generation of them that seek thee, that seek thy face, o Jacob's God. They are always wanters, and that makes them always seekers and beggars.
SECOND HE A D.
Second thing was to speak a little of the heavenly Canaan that they will be brought to the poffeffion of. I would hold it forth in these four particulars, namely in its types, epithets, parts and properties.