So let all your enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goes forth in his might…
The triumph of Israel after the overthrow of the Canaanites is an illustration of the ultimate triumph of the Church.
I. THE FACT OF THIS TRIUMPH. We have encouragements to think that the Church will not only be saved, but will be saved with honour - will triumph.
1. This implies the destruction of her enemies. We need not look for that in violence, after the manners of the Crusades or of the Inquisition.
(1) Spiritual foes, such as sin, temptation, death, will cease to exist.
(2) Human foes will cease to be foes by the turning of enmity into submission to Christ.
2. It implies the bestowal of honour on the Church. She shall shine like the sun, no longer despised.
3. It implies the enjoyment of great happiness. Darkness represents sorrow; sunlight represents joy.
4. It implies the gift of power. No influence on earth is so powerful as that of the sun. The people of God will have opportunity for noble service and for the exercise of large faculties.
5. It implies the exercise of benevolence. The sun scatters light, warmth, life. He brings new life out of the death of winter, and spreads beauty and glory over the face of the earth. The triumph of the Church will not be like that of old tyrannies, marked by bloodshed and misery, but a source of life and joy and glory to all within its reach. There is healing in the wings of the Sun of righteousness.
II. THE SOURCE OF THIS TRIUMPH.
1. It is accorded by God. Deborah speaks of it in prayer. It was not the courage of the warrior, but the unseen help of God that secured the victory to Israel. We grow fearful as we see the raging might of evil, and compare this with the trembling weakness of our own hearts. But God is with us; he makes the cause of the Church his own. Christ has already conquered, and now he calls us only to meet defeated foes.
2. It is secured through devotion to God. The enemies of God perish. These are not men whom God treats as enemies, but such as set themselves in enmity against him. They who triumph are the lovers of God. The essence of religion is love to God, and this is here the ground of the assurance of victory given by him.
3. It is attained by silent and gradual means. The sun does not burst out suddenly, he makes no noise to announce the coming day. So the triumph of the Church is gradual as the growing dawn, silent as the spreading light. Yet, like the light, it wall be recognised by its visible presence and its bountiful fruits. - A.
Parallel VersesKJV: So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.