Thou didst march through the land - This refers to the conquest of Canaan. God is represented as going at the head of his people as general-in-chief; and leading them on from conquest to conquest - which was the fact.
Thou didst thresh the heathen in anger - Thou didst tread them down, as the oxen do the sheaves on the threshing-floor.
Thou didst march the earth in indignation - The word “tread” is used of very solemn manifestations of God, (Judges 5:4; Psalm 68:8; of the procession of the ark, 2 Samuel 6:13. It is denied as to the idols, Jeremiah 10:5.) of His going to give to His own victory over their enemies Not the land only, as of old, but the earth is the scene of His judgments; the earth which was “full of His praise,” which He “meted out” Habakkuk 3:3, Habakkuk 3:6 which contained the nations whom He chastened, the whole earth.
Thou dost thresh the heathen in anger - Not then only, but at all times unto the end, distress of nations and perplexity are among the shoots of the fig tree, which betoken that the everlasting, Luke 21:25-31, “summer is nigh at hand.” Jerusalem, when it had slain the Prince of Life, was given over to desolation and counted like the pagan. It became the synagogue, not the Church; and so in the destruction of Jerusalem (as it is an image of the destruction of the world) was that again fulfilled, “Thou dost march through the earth in indignation, Thou dost thresh the heathen in anger.”
The coming of Christ to usher in the reign of righteousness has inspired the most sublime and impassioned utterances of the sacred writers. The poets and prophets of the Bible have dwelt upon it in words glowing with celestial fire. The psalmist sang of the power and majesty of Israel's King: “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence.... He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people.” Psalm 50:2-4. “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad ... before the Lord: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.” Psalm 96:11-13. GC 300.1
Said the prophet Isaiah: “Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.” “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isaiah 26:19; 25:8, 9. GC 300.2
And Habakkuk, rapt in holy vision, beheld His appearing. “God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. And His brightness was as the light.” “He stood, and measured the earth: He beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hill did bow: His ways are everlasting.” “Thou didst ride upon Thine horses and Thy chariots of salvation.” “The mountains saw Thee, and they trembled: ... the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of Thine arrows they went, and at the shining of Thy glittering spear.” “Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for salvation with Thine anointed.” Habakkuk 3:3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13. GC 300.3Read in context »
By marching all night he brought his forces before Gibeon in the morning. Scarcely had the confederate princes mustered their armies about the city when Joshua was upon them. The attack resulted in the utter discomfiture of the assailants. The immense host fled before Joshua up the mountain pass to Beth-horon; and having gained the height, they rushed down the precipitous descent upon the other side. Here a fierce hailstorm burst upon them. “The Lord cast down great stones from heaven: ... they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.” PP 508.1
While the Amorites were continuing their headlong flight, intent on finding refuge in the mountain strongholds, Joshua, looking down from the ridge above, saw that the day would be too short for the accomplishment of his work. If not fully routed, their enemies would again rally, and renew the struggle. “Then spake Joshua to the Lord, ... and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.... The sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” PP 508.2
Before the evening fell, God's promise to Joshua had been fulfilled. The entire host of the enemy had been given into his hand. Long were the events of that day to remain in the memory of Israel. “There was no day like that before it or after it, that Jehovah hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.” “The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of Thine arrows they went, and at the shining of Thy glittering spear. Thou didst march through the land in indignation, Thou didst thresh the heathen in anger. Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people.” Habakkuk 3:11-13. PP 508.3Read in context »