Joshua 8 Outline

God puts new courage into Joshua; commands him to go and besiege Ai, promising he should take it, 1, 2. The stratagem whereby it is taken; it is burnt, 3-22. The king is taken prisoner; the inhabitants are put to the sword; the cattle and goods spoiled; the king is hanged, 23-29. Joshua builds an altar, 30; offers thereon, 31; writes the law on stones, 32. It and its blessings and curses are read before the people, 33-35.

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  1. William Gurnall, “Christian in Complete Armour”: “[Satan’s] Stratagem: In his politic retreats. You shall have an enemy fly as [if] overcome, when it is on a design of overcoming. This was Joshua’s wile, by which he caught the men of Ai in a trap, Joshua 8. We read not only of Satan’s being cast out, but of the unclean spirit going out voluntarily, yet with a purpose to come again, and bring worse company with him, Matthew 12:43. Satan is not always beat back by the dint and power of conquering grace, but sometimes he draws off, and raiseth his own siege, the more handsomely to get the Christian out of his fastnesses and trenches, that so he may snap him on the plains, whom he cannot come at in his works and fortifications. Temptations send the saint to his castle, as the sight of the dog doth the coney to her burrow. Now the soul walks the rounds, stands upon its guard, dares not neglect duty, because the enemy is under its very walls, shutting in his temptations continually; but when Satan seems to give the soul over, and the Christian finds he is not haunted, with such motions as formerly, truly now he is prone to remit in his diligence, fail in his duty, and grow either unfrequent or formal therein; as the Romans, whose valour decayed for want of the Carthaginian troops to alarm them. Let Satan tempt or not tempt, assault or retreat, keep thou in order, stand in a fighting posture, let his flight strengthen thy faith, but not weaken thy care. The Parthians do their enemies most hurt in their flight, shooting their darts as they run, and so may Satan do thee, if thy seeming victory makes thee secure.”

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