22 SEPTEMBER (PREACHED 22 SEPTEMBER 1782)
Deliverance comes from God
‘Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.’ Judges 5:18
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Judges 5:1–18
War, with all its calamities, is the effect of sin. Relief and deliverance from those calamities are to be ascribed to the will and the mercy of God. He ruleth over the nations of the earth. He is the God of battles, the God of victory, and to him it is equally easy to save by many or by few. His favoured people Israel were often brought low by their iniquities, but when they were humbled, he pitied and delivered them. Sometimes he wrought salvation by his own Almighty Arm. When he destroyed Pharaoh and his army at the Red Sea and the army of Sennacherib, the people had only to stand still and see the mighty works of the Lord. At other times he commanded and animated them to attempt their own deliverance, but the success was from himself. We have an account of Barak being commissioned for such a service when Israel had groaned under the yoke of Midian. The tribes were all called upon, the army raised, the battle fought, the victory complete, their liberty restored, their enemies destroyed. This chapter is a hymn of praise to God who made them conquerors. The indolence of some of the tribes is reproved, the zeal and activity of others commended. And particular notice is taken of Zebulun and Naphtali who at such a time cheerfully hazarded their lives in the common cause. I would accommodate this passage to the present occasion. A noble design has been formed to furnish the navy and army with Bibles; it has been graciously supported, encouraged by the approbation of many of our officers, and received with thankfulness by many of our sailors and soldiers. I am appointed to recommend it today to this respectable auditory and I recommend it under this consideration, that is, in behalf of those who hazard their lives for us, even unto death, to defend us from our enemies.
FOR MEDITATION: [for the Fast Day, 27 February 1778]
When Moses’ hands through weakness dropped,
A people, always prone to boast,
The warriors fainted too;
Were taught by this suspense,
Israel’s success at once was stopped,
That not a numerous armed host,
And Am’lek bolder grew.
But God was their defence.
SERMON: JUDGES 5:18 [1/4] [FOR THE BIBLE SOCIETY AT ALDGATE]