I picked out just a couple verse from yesterday’s readings. You can listen to all of the readings here.
Joshua 6:18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
I’ve copied Matthew Henry’s comment on the command and caution in taking the city below at the end of this post. It’s a bit long but shows the risks of turning away from God that will always be a temptation.
This same caution is in our first Psalm.
Psa 135:15 The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
Psa 135:16 They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;
Psa 135:17 They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.
Psa 135:18 They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.
Before we get to that here are a few more positive verses in the other chapters.
Twenty six times we sing about God’s mercy…
Psa 136:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
the Book of Isaiah ends with these verses.
sa 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
Isa 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
Isaiah 66:12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.
Isaiah 66:15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
Here is Matthew Henry’s commentary I mentioned above.
The people had religiously observed the orders given them concerning the besieging of Jericho, and now at length Joshua had told them (Jos 6:16), “The Lord hath given you the city, enter and take possession.” Accordingly in these verses we have,
I. The rules they were to observe in taking possession. God gives it to them, and therefore may direct it to what uses and intents, and clog it with what provisos and limitations he thinks fit. It is given to them to be devoted to God, as the first and perhaps the worst of all the cities of Canaan.
1. The city must be burnt, and all the lives in it sacrificed without mercy to the justice of God. All this they knew was included in those words, Jos 6:17. The city shall be a cherem, a devoted thing, at and all therein, to the Lord. No life in it might be ransomed upon any terms; they must all be surely put to death, Lev 27:29. So he appoints from whom as creatures they had received their lives, and to whom as sinners they had forfeited them; and who may dispute his sentence? Is God unrighteous, who thus taketh vengeance? God forbid we should entertain such a thought! There was more of God seen in the taking of Jericho than of any other of the cities of Canaan, and therefore that must be more than any other devoted to him. And the severe usage of this city would strike a terror upon all the rest and melt their hearts yet more before Israel. Only, when this severity is ordered, Rahab and her family are excepted: She shall live and all that are with her. She had distinguished herself from her neighbours by the kindness she showed to Israel, and therefore shall be distinguished from them by the speedy return of that kindness.
2. All the treasure of it, the money and plate and valuable goods, must be consecrated to the service of the tabernacle, and brought into the stock of dedicated things, the Jews say because the city was taken on the sabbath day. Thus God would be honoured by the beautifying and enriching of his tabernacle; thus preparation was made for the extraordinary expenses of his service; and thus the Israelites were taught not to set their hearts upon worldly wealth nor to aim at heaping up abundance of it for themselves. God had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey, not a land abounding with silver and gold; for he would have them live comfortably in it, that they might serve him cheerfully, but not covet either to trade with distant countries or to hoard for after times. He would likewise have them to reckon themselves enriched in the enriching of the tabernacle, and to think that which was laid up in God’s house as truly their honour and wealth as if it had been laid up in their own.
3. A particular caution is given them to take heed of meddling with the forbidden spoil; for what was devoted to God, if they offered to appropriate it to their own use, would prove accursed to them; therefore (Jos 6:18) “In any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing; you will find yourselves inclined to reach towards it, but check yourselves, and frighten yourselves from having any thing to do with it.” He speaks as if he foresaw the sin of Achan, which we have an account of in the next chapter, when he gives this reason for the caution, lest you make the camp of Israel a curse and trouble it, as it proved that Achan did.